Lennie Small

Of Mice and Men is a novella written by John Steinbeck, in which the protagonist George goes on a journey with his mentally challenged friend Lennie through California in search of work during the Great Depression. Of Mice and Men has been adapted into two movies, one in 1939 starring Burgess Meredith as Curley, Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, and Betty Field as Curley’s wife; and one in 1992 staring Gary Sinise as George Milton, John Malkovich as Lennie Smalls, and Ray Walston as Candy. Of Mice And Men is considered to be among John Steinbeck’s best works.

Curiously enough Of Mice And Men was banned for being seen offensive towards people with disabilities by The Kern High School District Of Bakersfield, California in 1981. Of Mice And Men received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1940 and was also adapted into a Broadway play Of Mice And Men still runs to this day. Lennie Small is John Steinbeck’s protagonist Of Mice And Men alongside George Milton.

Lennie Small is portrayed as an oafish man prone to fits of panic with immense physical strength that always results in him unintentionally harming those around him. Lennie has great difficulty controlling his impulses due to an intellectual disability, which combined with his athleticism makes him very dangerous when not closely supervised by someone he respects.

Lennie’s Character Analysis

Lennie was born on January 17th 1908 (As estimated during Of Mice And Men). Lennie has lost track of his actual age due to his mental disabilities, saying that he was twelve in Of Mice Of Men. Lennie’s exact birthday is never determined but it could be inferred from Of Mice Of Men that Lennie liked February because he said “Today’s my birthday.”

If Of Mice Of Men takes place at the beginning of spring then this would put Lennie’s birthday close to George Milton’s who was born on April 15th Of Mice Of Men. John Steinbeck describes Lennie as 6 feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds with big bones and raw muscles . This makes Lennie very strong for someone who works mostly with machinery because average strength for a person his size would be closer to 100 pounds Of Mice Of Men.

Curley and his wife was also two of the ranch hands. Candy, one of the ranch hands who was old and disabled, and had a dog. Of Mice And Men is a novel which takes place during the Great Depression Era in California. Lennie Small was portrayed as an innocent-looking man with huge muscles. He was mentally slow and tended to drool. Of Mice and Men did not give us any physical description of Lennie apart from these facts; we only knew that he came across as physically strong because he carried around dead animals (bunnies) that he killed for fun.

We know that he has always been like this since childhood because this is what his Aunt Clara told him: “You ain’t no good an’ you never was. Right from the time you was a little baby Lennie. You was always wild. Wild! Takin’ after any livin’ thing that come along, like it was sort of so… The ranch hands were always trying to get Lennie in trouble because he kept getting into fights with them over his friend George Milton. Of Mice and Men portrays Lennie as being something of a menace or monster who does not have any control over himself.

Curley’s wife tried to flirt with him while she herself flirted with other men on the farm. This comes back later in the story to haunt her when Lennie gets mad at her for flirting with another man earlier in the book . George Milton was an intelligent young man with a bad reputation for being careless in his actions. Of Mice and Men created a psychological portrait of George when he tells Lennie the story about how they met each other: In Of Mice And Men, Steinbeck portrays mental illness as a threat to society.

Examples can be seen when Lennie gets mad at Curley’s wife because she flirted with another man . This also comes back to haunt her later on in the book when Lennie kills her husband by mistake . The people who were mentally ill were discriminated against during this time period and considered dangerous to society . In Of Mice And Men, Lennie Small fits into that category because he was said to have killed two men, but he did not really know what he was doing. Lennie was also described as being “not right” in the head due to his mental state .

Of Mice And Men portrayed people with problems or disabilities as being dangerous, unpredictable, and violent. Of Mice And Men showed that the mentally ill were the most feared of all groups because they could never be trusted . This is true in Of Mice And Men because George Milton had to lead Lennie around like a child all of the time because Lennie got into trouble so much. Lennie Small’s reaction to Curley’s wife demonstrates how men can exert violence against women (the helpless). Of Mice And Men shows how men prey on women who are weak or unable to defend themselves.

Of Mice And Men shows how men can prey on women physically and psychologically . This is seen when Lennie gets mad at Curley’s wife because she flirted with another man. Of Mice And Men also demonstrates that there were no limits to the kinds of abuse men could heap upon women during this time period. Of Mice And Men showed that men were capable of doing anything they wanted to women and there was no one who would stop them. Of Mice And Men shows the historical realities of the time period (of how power and authority were perceived).

Of Mice and Men clearly demonstrates how people abuse their power over others, like Curley’s wife was abused by Lennie Small because she could not defend herself . Of Mice And Men showed the physical and psychological violence that men bestowed upon women during this time period. Of Mice And Men portrayed how authorities (such as police officers) did not protect women from abuse. Of Mice And Men also illustrated that even if a man was put in jail for committing a crime, he could still have control over his woman if he had someone else threaten her while she was alone .

Of Mice And Men demonstrated how women were treated like objects and not humans during this time period. Of Mice And Men showed that people mistreated others who were different during the 1930’s because society feared them. Of Mice And Men shows how men can be monsters when they get mad at women for flirting with other men. Of Mice And Men demonstrates that some people only cared about their own gratification and did not care what happened to others. Of Mice and Men also portrayed how women could be psychologically manipulated by men (and made to feel guilty if they refused to do something).

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