Can one pin-point the strengths, and more importantly, the weaknesses in the relationship between George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men?
The strengths are fairly obvious, however I'm having difficulty finding and explaining the possible weaknesses. Thanks :)
The relationship between George and Lennie is a symbiotic one because they need each other to succeed. Neither man is self-sufficient. Lennie obviously needs George to look after him and try to keep him out of trouble as well as find jobs for him while George needs Lennie with his tremendous strength to help George, a small man, obtain jobs on ranches. Brains and brawn describes their relationship. Together they plan to work and save enough money to buy their own place and "live off the fatta the land."
Without one, the other is less likely to succeed if not doomed altogether. When George kills Lennie to save him from a torturous death, the dream dies as well. George may be finally free of the responsibilities of looking after Lennie and taking care of his problems, but it is unlikely he will ever be able to make and save enough money to buy the little farm.
George and Lennie have a complicated friendship and while it is extremely strong and entirely codependent, there are some weaknesses in its threads. George is often heard throughout the story calling Lennie names like "bastard", "dumb", "nuisance". While he half way means it he really does care about Lennie a lot. There are times in the story where George is overwhelmed at having to be responsible for Lennie and considers just leaving him behind because he's always getting into trouble. For example when Lennie got accused of raping the girl in Weed. George admits to Slim that when he first knew Lennie he was sometimes cruel to him. He would play mean jokes on him to make himself feel better. Once he said he told Lennie to jump in a river and Lennie did just as he was told and almost drowned. Lennie loves George unconditionally and is never mean to him, even when George is, which often times makes George feel even guiltier about the way he treated Lennie. While their friendship is mixed with a lot of guilt and regret, the two men make it work into a beautiful friendship.