In what ways is George loyal to Lennie?I have to find 3 examples where George is loyal to Lennie. I have one: whenever they come across trouble, George still stays will with him to go to the next...

In what ways is George loyal to Lennie?

I have to find 3 examples where George is loyal to Lennie. I have one: whenever they come across trouble, George still stays will with him to go to the next place instead of abandoning him. I'm not even sure if there is another one besides that because that's like the main thing. This is the topic I'm choosing and I already found a whole bunch more info on the other things so there's no turning back! Please help and thanks!

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having never abandoned Lennie after promising Lennie's aunt that he would look out for him, George exhibits his loyalty at various times.

First of all, George has not left Lennie alone to defend himself in the dangerous situation that has occurred in Weed. Knowing that Lennie does not intend harm to any living creature but cannot control his great strength when he feels a desire to hold on to something or someone, George tries to keep Lennie out of trouble. So, he and Lennie flee Weed and move on to a new job. Before reporting to work, they spend one night in a clearing of a wooded area. While they camp there, George gives Lennie strict instructions for the next day when they report to work on a ranch:

"We're gonna go in an' see the boss. Now, look—I'll give him the work tickets, but you ain't gonna say a word. You just stand there and don't say nothing. If he finds out what a crazy bastard you are, we won't get no job, but if he sees ya work before he hears ya talk, we're set. Ya got that?" (Section 1)

Fortunately, Lennie obeys George when they talk with the boss of the ranch the next day. George tells the boss how strong Lennie is, and he explains Lennie's silence by saying, 

". . . a horse kicked Lennie in the head when he was a boy. . . . Just ain't bright. But he can do anything you tell him." (Section 2)

George tells this falsehood because the lie does not hurt Lennie's position as a worker while the truth about Lennie's mental deficiency might. On another occasion, George confides in Slim about his and Lennie's pasts. When, for instance, Slim wonders why the two men go around together when most men are loners:

"It jus' seems kinda funny a cuckoo like him and a smart little guy like you travelin' together." (Section 1)

George resents Slim's remark about Lennie and defends him by equating himself with Lennie.

"He ain't no cuckoo," said George. "He's dumb as hell, but he ain't crazy. An' I ain't so bright neither, or I wouldn't be buckin' barley for my fifty and found. If I was bright, . . . I'd have my own little place, an' I'd be bringin' in my own crops." (Section 3)

Lastly, George does not abandon his friend after the frightened Lennie unintentionally kills Curley's wife. Having feared that Lennie would again get himself in trouble, George has instructed the big man who does not know his real strength to hide in the clearing where they made camp the first night if he gets into trouble. He has told Lennie, 

". . . if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an' hide in the brush." (Section 1)

While George's act of shooting Lennie has met with much criticism, George's motivation for killing his friend in the naturalistic world in which they dwell is done to prevent Lennie from being confined like an animal in jail or in an institution. Either of these situations would probably cause Lennie's death or complete mental breakdown. As confirmation that he has acted out of love by shooting Lennie, Slim assures George, "You hadda, George. I swear you hadda."

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George is loyal to Lennie throughout.  He gets him workslips and continues to travel with him.  He lies to help him get a job and protects him once he's on the job.  He backs Lennie in the bunkhouse scuffle with Curley, encouraging him to defend himself and then helping to cover for Lennie when Curley is seriously injured.

He is even loyal to Lennie when he shoots him in the end, rather than let him die scared, cornered and alone he took him out in a quick and painless manner where he didn't see it coming.

bval | Student

George is often loyal to Lennie. When they first arrive at the farm, George does all the talking for Lennie because he knows that Lennie cannot verbalize his points well. George tries to protect him because he is his friend. Friendship is a hard thing to come by for a group of ranch workers. Slim notices their friendship and in a way he wishes he could have the same type of friendship. At the end of the novel George takes Lennie's life because he sees no other way to help him. George would rather do it himself because he knows that Curley is going to kill Lennie. This is in direct contrast to Candy and his dog. Candy has another ranch worker kill his dog, but Candy later wishes that he had killed the dog himself. In the end George is sad to lose Lennie, but he knows that it is his responsibility to kill Lennie so it is done as painlessly as possible.