From the novel Of Mice and Men, discuss the main characters George and Lennie.
How are they characterized? What are the main conflicts they face? How do they handle the conflicts? How are these conflicts resolved?
George is a smart small framed man. He is a careful and does not easily trust people. He is also loyal to his word. He promised that he would look after Lenny which he does. George sometimes gets frustrated with Lenny. He has been working as a ranch hand for many years. George lives during the depression in America. He is an ethical person who has to make the decision as to whether or not to take the life of his own friend or allows others to kill him.
Lenny is a simple minded and large sized man. He is a nice man but he does not understand his own strength. He demonstrates this by breaking Curley's hand and by accidentally killing the puppies. Later he accidentally kills Curley's wife. He trusts George and follows him wherever the road takes them. He looks forward to owning a ranch with George. He wants to raise rabbits. Lenny does not understand the social restrictions of his time. He befriends the black man on the ranch and Candy, an old used up ranch hand. He is impulsive and makes poor choices.
Conflict begins before they arrive at the ranch. At their previous place of employment Lenny had grabbed a girl and they had to run. Because of this George sets up a safe location where they will meet if something bad happens. Curley, the ranch owner’s son and bully, takes a dislike to Lenny and tries to provoke him. Lenny breaks his hand making an even greater enemy of him. Candy the ranch hand has an old dog. Curley’s friend kills the dog to put it out of its misery. The final crisis is when Lenny panics and kills Curley’s wife. Lenny runs and hides. George has to go after him. He finds him before the others can get to him. George kills Lenny by shooting him. He did it because he cared about Lenny.