This short novel allows Steinbeck to focus his attention on one of the oldest issues in human relations: people's responsibility for other people. George is saddled with "half-witted" Lennie, who depends on him to serve as both intermediary and protector in almost all situations involving contact with others. This relationship is based not on any family bond, but on George's belief that Lennie would die if not protected from others. The story of these two drifters highlights the universal plight of people in search of a better life. The dreams these two have—to own their own land, to...
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