Discuss the signficance of how Lennie is presented in the first two chapters of Of Mice and Men.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I don't think one can go very far in discussing how Lennie is presented in the first two chapters without talking about how much loyalty he shows to George.  We get more idea of this when George speaks with Slim, but it is evident in the first two chapters that the characterization offered of Lennie is one where he is completely loyal and dependent on George.  This is seen in the smallest of ways.  The first chapter is one in which he imitates how George lies down and how he feels bad about the idea of living alone from him.  This is seen in the second chapter when he keeps repeating the instructions that George gives him, over and over as if it is a mantra.  Lennie is shown to be one who gives himself willingly to George.  At a time period where there is so much skepticism and doubt amongst individuals, Lennie breaks this mold with his complete loyalty and solidarity with George.  This part of his characterization is evident in the first couple of chapters, demonstrating how much he leans on George and depends on him.  This is significant because of the trust and loyalty that is shown in the first two chapters is something that underscores Lennie's characters throughout the novella.


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