Have you ever cared about somebody so much that you would do anything to keep them safe? Sometimes, in order to do this you need to sacrifice things you want in life. Even if you could you live an easier and happier life without that person, you decide to stay by their side because you care about them. The character George Milton in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, perfectly demonstrates this action with his friend and partner, Lennie Smalls.
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In this story, George and Lennie are migrant workers during the Great Depression who find a ranch to work on in California. George has been taking care of Lennie for a long time, ever since Lennier’s Aunt Clara passed away, George has always been by his side because he knows that there is no way Lennie can even last a week by himself. Lennie isnt a bright character and he can get into a lot of trouble which makes it even harder for George to want to stay with him. There have been many times when George has thought about how easy his life would be without Lennie, but he knows that keeping Lennie safe is the right thing to do so he will do the best he can keeping Lennie safe and out of trouble at the ranch.
George is protective, kind-hearted, and quick-witted because he knows that Lennie is not capable of surviving by himself.
George and Lennie decide to take a break from walking to the ranch where they are planning to work at and lay down on the sand. Steinbeck writes, ?God, youre a lot of trouble, said George, ?I could live so easy and so nice if I didnt have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl. (9). George makes a statement that he could such a better life if he didnt have to take care of a troublemaker like Lennie all the time. Although this quote may seem like George dislikes Lennie and doesnt want anything to do with him, George really does cares about him because he sacrifices those wants to stick by Lennier’s side. The manner George uses in this quote shows that Lennie isnt a person someone would like to take care of. The phrase George uses, I could live so easy and so nice if I didnt have you on my tail. can also help us determine that Lennie is holding George back from what he wants to do and achieve in life. This is a key quote in determining Georger’s personality because it shows that George would rather stay with somebody he really cares about than obtaining his wants in life. This is evident because George could have left Lennie a long time ago if he wanted and he didnt have to take care of him after Lennier’s Aunt Clara past away. However, Georger’s decision to take care of Lennie shows how his kind-hearted personality comes to play.
Later in the same scene, George continues to talk to Lennie about how life would be like for him without Lennie and then Lennie tells George that he could go away and live by himself if George didnt want him. George immediately responds with, ?No look! I was jus foolin, Lennie. ?Cause I want you to stay with me. Trouble with mice is you always kill ?em. He paused. ?Tell you what Ill do, Lennie. First chance I get Ill give you a pup. Maybe you wouldnt kill it. Thatd be better than mice. And you could pet it harder. (14). George instantly regrets what he said to Lennie about living a better life without him because he realizes that saying this is hurtful to Lennie and George even tells Lennie that hell find him a pup to make up for what he previously said. This quote shows that George clearly cares about Lennie and wants him to stay with George because not only is Lennie a phenomenal worker, but he is also a true friend to George and without Lennie, George would end up lonelier. By promising Lennie a pup, shows that George wants to make Lennie happy and bring him more joy because he works hard and yet Lennie isnt a bright character, he is still human and deserves love and joy. All in all, George may act harsh on Lennie at times, but it is only to keep Lennie safe and out of trouble and deep inside George still loves Lennie even though he may be a troublemaker, which shows his kind-hearted personality.
In addition to Georger’s kind-hearted personality, he is also a quick-witted character as demonstrated through his careful and effective decision making. When Whit, a rancher, invites George to come in town for a night to Susyr’s place, George declines the offer. George states, ?Me an Lennier’s rollin up a stake, said George, ?I might go in an set and have a shot, but I aint puttin out no two and a half. (52). George suggests that he might go but he wont spend much money because he knows that since Lennie and him are saving money up for bigger things like their dream farm, it wouldnt be smart for George to waste a lot of money at a ?whore house. George effectively analyzes this situation that Whit has put him in, and uses his careful thinking to make the right decision which evidently shows his quick-witted character. Not only does George decline the offer, but he does so with the thought of Lennie and their hard work they both of them put in to raise the money in mind when coming up with a decision. This quote can also tell us that George cares about the more important things in life and doesnt care to much about the little things in life. Furthermore, George has tunnel vision on working hard to live a better life and not letting the lesser important things get to him. Near the end of the story, George decides to shoot Lennie by the Salinas River where Lennie ran to after he murdered Curleyr’s wife. Steinbeck writes, And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennier’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.
The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled down again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering. (103-104). Steinbeck describes how George shoots Lennie in the back of the head with a luger that he confiscated from Carlson, and the reaction of Lennier’s lifeless body to the shot. Not only does George make the decision to shoot Lennie, but he does so with the luger aimed in the back of Lennier’s head. This is done so the victim doesnt feel any pain and this is very similar to what Carlson did with Candyr’s dog. George realized that the reason he wants to kill Lennie himself is because he doesnt want Lennie to die painfully to Curley, so in order to inflict little to no pain to Lennie, George uses what Carlson did and aims for the back of the head. It is evident that Lennie didnt feel any pain because after the shot, Lennie slowly starts to lay down without quivering. To add, this decision that George made to kill Lennie with a stolen luger shows that George knew this is how he wanted it to end and he took the time to plan out this event so it would go exactly how he wanted it to, thus resembling his quick-witted character because if he didnt kill Lennie then the other ranchers would of done so with even more pain and showing no mercy. This decision was definitely not easy for George to make, but it was the right choice to make.
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