In Of Mice and Men, what type of friendship do Lennie and George have?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The friendship that George and Lennie have in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a relationship of inter-dependence. Each has qualities that the other one needs, and each has frailties that the other friend helps out with. For example, although Lennie is learning-challenged, he is big and strong. George is cleverer and capable, but smaller and slighter in build. The best way they can get the ranch work so vital in America's Great Depression is to sell themselves as a team. George is responsible for the travelling and the hiring - he can sell Lennie's gifts (strength, stamina etc.) Lennie provides the brawn and the muscle that ranch owners need. Through this inter-dependent relationship they have built up an eccentric friendship--but for now, it works.

copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George and Lennie have a very close but co-dependent friendship. George is the wise, thoughtful one; Lennie is the physically strong but impulsive one. George and Lennie manage to survive and thrive as long as they do because they have one another. Neither would be able to so without the other. Throughout the novel we see George looking out for and protecting Lennie. Whether it was the incident with the red dress, or the puppy, or Curly’s wife, George is always there to guide Lennie out of trouble. Likewise, it is Lennie who provides the physical power that helps to fuel the George and Lennie’s dream of owning their own farm and “livin’ off the fatta the land.”

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Of Mice and Men

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