How to write an essay on "friendship between Lennie and George" in Of Mice and Men, taking in the complexities of the notion of this friendship?

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could begin this essay by considering the notion of friendship in general. What does friendship actually mean, what does it involve? We might say that friendship involves mutual respect, affection, shared circumstances, values and interests - any or all of these things, but a true and enduring friendship is likely to involve most, if not all of them.You could then go on to discuss the particular case of George and Lennie. To begin with, we can note that, on the face of it, they are a very unlikely pairing. As Slim says to George: 'Funny how you and him travel round together.' It is 'funny' not just because it's unusual for migrant workers to travel together, but because George and Lennie are polar opposites. George is smart and quick, Lennie is mentally slow and physically clumsy; George is cynical, Lennie has a childlike good-humour and affection.Yet they stick together.

You should consider the reasons given in the novel for this friendship, when George confides in Slim that he promised Lennie's Aunt Clara that he would always look after him. You could then discuss whether this friendship has arisen solely out of need: George's need for companionship, and Lennie's need for a mentor. Outside of the dream of sharing a farm together, they don't appear to have anything in common at all. Do they really have enough to make for a truly lasting and unbreakable bond? Think about George's shooting Lennie at the end, and his reaction to this. These are the kind of factors you could consider when writing this essay.