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In what ways do Lennie and George need each other?I am wrtiting a paper on the...

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sierrac5 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 24, 2010 at 7:49 AM via web

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In what ways do Lennie and George need each other?

I am wrtiting a paper on the relationships of the two, and am having trouble finding out why exacally they need eachother. All i can think of is because they both are a little diffrent to society.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 24, 2010 at 8:00 AM (Answer #1)

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They both need a friend too. By the time you get to chapters 4-5, George leaves for the night and Crooks teases Lennie about George leaving him for good. Lennie knows George would never do that and Crooks discusses what it is like to be lonely. These guys both need each other for companionship. In fact, if you look at every other character, they are longing for relationship. It kills Candy to loose his dog. Curley and his wife have an empty marriage, Crooks is an outcast. The need for relationship is all over this book. This is what makes the end so difficult to grasp. Even though George gets relieved by having the responsibility for Lennie's actions over, he is hurt that he will not be able to have his friend anymore.


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viola46 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 24, 2010 at 9:10 AM (Answer #2)

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This issue is dealt with when Slim, who is the voice of reason and truth, talks to the two men. Lennie's strength provides George with money earning ability and physical back-up. "I ain't nothing to scream about, but that big bastard there can put up more grain alone than most pairs can." George also says that, 'It's a lot nicer to go around with someone you know," so the fact they have known each other for a long time provides comfort.

Maybe Lennie makes George feel good about himself in comparison, "Made me seem God damn smart alongside of him."

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 24, 2010 at 7:53 AM (Answer #3)

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I think that it is easier to see why Lennie needs George than to see why George needs Lennie.

Lennie needs George for two reasons.  First, he needs George to keep him out of trouble.  Without George, Lennie is not really intelligent enough to make his own way in the world.  Second, he needs George to give him a dream to live for.  Lennie is probably not capable of making up his own dream and having a clear vision of that dream.

I think George needs Lennie because caring for Lennie makes him feel useful and important.  George does not appear to have that much going for him and I think that having someone who depends on him makes him feel like he is special to someone and that someone needs him.

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