Who is farther in their heroic journey, Lennie or George, in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?
I have to write a argumentative essay for lit and I need others opinions so I can form a good rebutal. The heroic journey is made up of the Departure, Initiation and the Return.
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It seems to me that Lennie would be the person who has made the most progress in his journey, although it is certainly not the sort of progress one would find in typical hero-journey, like that of Odysseus or Aeneas.
I would assume that both men depart at the same time, since they flee Weed after Lennie is accused of sexually assaulting a woman. They both travel together to the barley farm near Soledad.
At Soledad, Lennie defeats the evil Curley by crushing his hand. He accidentally kills the puppy and also accidentally kills the evil temptress, Curley's wife. These violent encounters would appear to serve as an initiation for Lennie.
After killing Curley's wife, Lennie returns to the river where Steinbeck's story begins. George follows, finds him there, and kills him (which might serve as George's initiation).
So, Lennie's journey ends there at the river. Like Moses in the Old Testament, Lennie catches a glimpse of the "promised land" in his mind, but he is never able to experience it first hand. Whether George ever gets to find a home of his own will remain a matter of speculation.
Usually, heroes return home. In the case of Lennie and George, neither of them ever actually reach home.
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