In "Of Mice and Men," what do you suppose Lennie’s statement below might suggest symbolically?“…live on the fatta the lan’… an’ rabbits” (Pgs. 57, 58)

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Lennie's idea might contain a great deal of symbolic meaning.  I think that it is fair to examine Lennie being able to articulate a great deal within such a statement.  The idea of "live on the fatta the lan'" helps to convey that Lennie's "needs" are not very significant.  Whereas other "bindle stiffs" might have elaborate designs regarding personal gratification and gaining more money, Lennie is quite content living within his means.  The idea that he indicates that the land is "fat" is reflective of how easy Lennie is to please.  His happiness is not something complex or intricate.  Rather, companionship with George and simply being in the world helps to constitute happiness.  The only element of self- interest that Lennie possesses is his desire to be with "the rabbits."  This would mean that Lennie's happiness is derived from taking care of another living being.  This helps to develop another element of Lennie's character, making him more endearing to the reader.  At the same time, it also reflects how different from the rest of the world he is.  Lennie's state of being in the world is one that is fundamentally incompatible with the norms of how others are in the world.  This is something that is brought out in the end, resulting in his own sad fate, where again, the vision of he and George simply being in the world with the "rabbits" is in his mind.

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Of Mice and Men

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