In Of Mice and Men,  what does Lennie represent?  How does he represent "the inarticulate and powerful yearning of all men"?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lennie Small, because of his mental limitations, cannot articulate his deepest needs and desires in language that expresses and explains them specifically, but his deepest and most powerful yearnings are evident throughout the novel. Lennie longs for the safety and security of a home that cannot be taken away from him, a place where life can be fulfilling and free of anxiety. For him, this desire is expressed as "living off the fat of the land" in a place where, finally, he belongs.

As migrant workers, George and Lennie are members of the dispossessed, men without homes who have no place in society and who do not belong wherever they may be. They are poor and trapped in their poverty. Lennie's dream of the farm, although he cannot discuss it except in the most elemental terms, represents the universal human yearning for freedom, security, spiritual fulfillment, and human dignity.