Discuss how George's characterization changes throughout Of Mice and Men.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Overall, I don't see George as changing much throughout the novel.  I think that George still struggles to achieve a dream for himself and Lennie.  He does bring Candy in on their plan, and in this he shows a greater inclination to share his thoughts and world with someone.  I think that the largest level of change lies in how he views Slim.  George never really saw anyone as an adviser or someone to help he and Lennie.  Rather, he saw himself as the sole individual who had to end up doing the thinking for both of them.  Yet, George comes to see Slim as a type leader for him, someone to whom he can turn and receive advice.  Steinbeck uses the idea of a "priest" and "penitent" when describing the conversations that emerge between both of them.  It is here where George might experience the most amount of change.  Whether his decision to kill Lennie at the end is a result or is separate of these conversations is a matter of conjecture.  Yet, the reality is that George does change in recognizing that his life, one that consisted of him constantly on the move with Lennie, does change a bit.  He understands that there are limits to what he can do with Lennie at his side and he is unable to avoid this lynch mob that is coming after him.  Contrary to their time at Weed, when Lennie and George ran away from that particularly angry group, George has changed in recognizing that there is a limit and he decides to shoot Lennie himself, something from which only Slim can provide comfort in the end.