What is the relationship between George and Lennie?

Expert Answers
renkins44 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When evaluating the relationship of George and Lennie, keep in mind the influential external factors. The setting takes place during the time of the Great Depression and the Dust bowl. Lennie and George are both migrant workers and depend on farm work for money at a time when America's economy was the weakest and its farms were struggling to keep animals and crops alive. In addition, the Unites States is filled with intense prejudice towards races, sexes, and outcasts. There are a number of relationship pairs to evaluate throughout the story so keep the setting complications in mind.

Through figurative language and characterization used in chapter one, Steinbeck reveals the characteristics of both George and Lennie. Lennie has a mental disability and is a regular burden on George; he has lost jobs because of his inability to control his strength and is regularly badgering George with questions. Because of his strength, however, Lennie is able to impress farm owners who desire capable physical laborers. On the other hand, George has the wit and instinct to navigate from farm to farm and find new areas to work.

While George sacrifices job stability and independence, he gains companionship at a time when the rest of world is indifferent to him. Likewise, Lennie sacrifices some personal dignity (George regularly casts crude, demeaning remarks on Lennie) and gains a protector, provider, and friend.

tpisano eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George and Lenny are friends. There is no family relation between these two men.  George takes care of Lenny because he is mentally handicapped and he feels a social responsibility to help him. However, in many ways Lenny takes care of George as well.

They travel together, work together, and dream together.  They provide each other with companionship that they otherwise would not have.  Their ultimate goal is to have their own farm one day, but unfortunately that dream is cut short because of other events in the novel. 

atyourservice | Student

George is more like Lennie's caretaker/guardian. After aunt Clara's death, george promised he would look after lennie.

crystaltu001 | Student

Lennie and George aren't related. When Lennie's aunt Clara passed away, George promised her that he would take care of Lennie. So now George and Lennie do everything together, they travel together, work together, and everything else. They just gradually developed a relationship where they are like brothers to each other . 

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Lennie and George are not related. They both are good friend and they are both migrant workers who have their own dreams. George is the only one that truly understands Lennie. They both depend on each other.

safilena | Student

i think it is because before Lennie's Aunt Clara died she told George to take good care of Lennie because he cant survive on his own and also george feels protective and responsible for him. you will see that later on in the story.



this answer is right cuz i am currently reading it for school and my teacher told me.

boopickup96 | Student

in the first chapter when george and lennie made a camp fire and lennie brings back a dead mouse.

how does this show the relationship between them both?