Symbiotic Relationships A symbiotic relationship is a relationship in which two people rely on each other for something beneficial. A symbiotic relationship exists between George and Lennie, and is demonstrated throughout the novel, Of Mice and Men. However, other characters in the novel do not have symbiotic relationships. Since these characters do not have symbiotic relationships, they cannot experience life to its fullest and they have trouble leading a healthy, and rewarding life.
"[Ã¢ÂÂ¦] I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you [Ã¢ÂÂ¦]." Lennie says this line when he is talking to George. Lennie relies on George for numerous things. He relies on George for guidance, protection, and acceptance. Throughout the novel, Lennie depends on George to tell him what to do and when to do it. Lennie definitely suffers from a learning disbility and he has difficulty responding to situations that are beyond his intelligence.
When he does not have a solution to a problem, he turns to George. In actuality, George is his mentor; he guides him, takes care of him and makes sure that Lennie is not harmed or mocked. George, on the other hand, has become so used to this relationship in which he has authority over Lennie, that at times, it appears that he does not mind having Lennie around to talk to and to offer his comments about the world around him. George uses Lennie as a sounding board even though Lennie does not always fully understand the situation at hand. Since George and Lennie have a symbiotic relationship they lead and experience a healthy life together as much as they possibly can based on their economic limitations.
Next, other characters in the story do not have a symbiotic relationship, and they cannot experience a well-lived life. The characters that do not lead a symbiotic relationship are Curly and his wife. They are a couple who just married each other for no apparent reason other than to be married. They have a very bad relationship and a bad marriage. Curly never talks to his wife or pays attention to her even though she always wants to talk to him. This causes Curly's wife to feel unwanted and isolated because she lives on a farm and never has anyone to talk to including her husband. Curly's wife constantly tries to start conversations with Curly, but he will not talk to her; he actually ignores her. Since they have such a bad relationship, they do not rely on each other for anything. This causes Curly's wife to be constantly sad and miserable, and she is flirtatious with other men because she badly wants attention that Curly does not provide. Therefore, without a symbiotic relationship, Curly and his wife are prevented from experiencing a healthy and full life. They lead a miserable life with very little emotion, except for dislike, and at times, disdain.
Lastly, there is one more character that proves that not having a symbiotic relationship prevents one form leading a healthy life. The final character is Crooks. Crooks is a black man who works on the farm, but he is unable to interact with the other workers because of his skin color. Crooks is not even allowed to sleep in the same bunkhouse as the white workers. At one point in the novel, Crooks says to Lennie, "[Ã¢ÂÂ¦] I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain't wanted in my room." Crooks reacts this way towards Lennie because of his isolation from the world for a long period of time. Hence, Crooks cannot have any kind of relationship with anyone, let alone a symbiotic relationship with an individual. Since Crooks has been by himself for such a long time, he has become extremely isolated, and he does not want to talk to anyone. For example, when Lennie enters his room, he tries to talk to Crooks, but Crooks is very mean to Lennie because he has been alone for so long that he has become very angry, and he does not know how to interact with people. He eventually talks to Lennie, but not very nicely. Crooks is now experiencing a very unhealthy and sad life because he lacks a symbiotic relationship.
In conclusion, humans cannot experience healthy lives without having a symbiotic relationship. Curly and his wife experienced terrible lives because of not having a symbiotic relationship. They lived a life of hate and unhappiness. Crooks also experienced a very sad life because he withdrew from other people. However, George and Lennie experienced a healthy life because of their symbiotic relationship. They relied on one another even though it was Lennie who demanded more of the support than George. Still this healthy relationship made their existence a healthy one, George felt needed in his existence by always being there for Lennie and Lennie was content because he had someone who watched out for him.