Give some examples of love and sacrifice shown between Lennie and George's in their relationship in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

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Lennie and George have a unique, close relationship and rely on each other for companionship while they traverse the country looking for work. Both characters demonstrate their love for one another by making sacrifices to please each other and ease the pain of their difficult lives. Since Lennie has a...

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Lennie and George have a unique, close relationship and rely on each other for companionship while they traverse the country looking for work. Both characters demonstrate their love for one another by making sacrifices to please each other and ease the pain of their difficult lives. Since Lennie has a childlike personality, much of what he does can be harmful to him and annoys George. Despite his natural inclination to engage in dangerous/harmful behavior, Lennie attempts to curb his behavior by listening to George and following his directives. For example, Lennie apologizes for carrying around a dead mouse and tries his best to avoid Curley's wife. He also demonstrates his love for George by biting his tongue and not speaking to others after George tells him to remain silent.

George demonstrates his love for Lennie by sacrificing his independence and assuming the major risk of being associated with his mentally handicapped friend. George is fully aware that Lennie will get him into trouble yet remains by his side. For example, George does not run away by himself following the incident in Weed. He could have easily abandoned Lennie, but instead he helped him escape too. George also sacrifices his personal life and independence by remaining loyal to Lennie. He does not attempt to form a relationship with a woman, start a family, or settle down. A prime example of George demonstrating his love for Lennie takes place towards the end of the novella after Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife. George spares Lennie from the wrath of Curley and his mob by unexpectedly shooting him in the back of the head. George is forced to make the difficult decision that will possibly traumatize him and negatively affect his mental health but does so to spare Lennie from experiencing a brutal death. George also allows Lennie to die in peace by reciting their dream of one day owning an estate, where Lennie will be able to tend rabbits.

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For Lennie, he often sacrifices what he wants to do for George's sake.  While George is not trying to be mean to Lennie by asking him to give up mice or conversation (talking to Curley's Wife), he knows that he must protect Lennie. While Lennie doesn't always obey George, he is willing (most of the time) to give up what he wants to do in order for George and him to stay together. Lennie does this because he truly cares about George.  In Chapter 1 he offers to give up his food for George--a seemingly simple offer, but during the Great Depression, it is a true sacrifice.

George consciously makes more sacrifices for Lennie than Lennie is capable of making.  He sacrifices stability because Lennie often does something which forces George and Lennie to flee. George does receive Lennie's unconditional trust and love because of his loyalty, but he must still sacrifice much in order to take care of Lennie. The end of the novel is the best example of sacrifice on George's part.  By shooting Lennie, George knows that he is saving Lennie from a cruel fate from Curley, but he also knows that he is sacrifice his sanity.  His choice is painful and conflicted, but he demonstrates his love for Lennie by doing what he thinks is best for his friend and not doing what would be easiest for himself.

If you look at George and Lennie's relationship as a parent-child relationship, you will see the true sacrifice and love on the part of both characters.  It is difficult for parents to discipline their children, but they do so in the hopes of helping their children develop into adults who are safe and effective in society. While George knows that disciplining (being stern with) Lennie will not cause him to develop any further, he hopes that he will be able to prevent Lennie from getting himself into extreme trouble.

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