George stays with Lennie because he promised Lennie's Aunt Clara that he would take care of him. George also enjoys Lennie's friendship and company as they travel from ranch to ranch, searching for work as migrant farmers. In a conversation with Slim, George briefly discusses his relationship with Lennie. George says,
"We kinda look after each other...It's a lot nicer to go around with a guy you know" (Steinbeck, 17).
Despite the fact that Lennie is mentally handicapped and somewhat of a burden on George, George enjoys Lennie's company and values his friendship. In the rough, unforgiving environment of America during the Depression, many migrant farmers travel across the country by themselves. As isolated individuals with no permanent home or family, they live tragic lives and become callous, insensitive individuals. Steinbeck juxtaposes the lonely, isolated workers to George and Lennie, who have a meaningful relationship, in order to illustrate the value of friendship and brotherhood. George also understands Lennie and is used to being around him after so many years. Essentially, the two men morally support one another during the difficult time in America's history.