Friendship in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Essay by WAvegetarianHigh School, 10th grade March 2005

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The famous 20th century American author John Steinbeck dealt with many themes in 1937 when he wrote Of Mice and Men. A recurrent theme in this novel is friendship. During the hard times of the Great Depression, often the only thing a person could count on was friendship. For migrant workers who had to move around to find work, it was hard to develop meaningful friendships or a deep understanding of where another person was coming from. The book Of Mice and Men was structured around three friendships: George and Lennie, Lennie and Crooks and Candy and his dog.

The central relationship of this book is between George and Lennie. George has spent almost his entire life protecting Lennie. Whenever Lennie would get in trouble, George would be there to bail him out. They have known each other since they were kids and always seem to be together. Much of the book is spent with conversations between the two of them; in fact they appear in almost every scene.

This makes it hard to summarize their relationship in a paragraph; there is so much more to be said. They have the strongest bond in the book and are the most developed, central characters.

A more fleeting, but no less important, example of friendship is that between Lennie and Crooks. It exposes many social prejudices of the time as well as Crooks obvious lack of friends. When Crooks let Lennie into his room, he broke the taboo of mixing black and white. Later entrants into the scene commented on this fact and immediately questioned why Lennie was in Crooks' room. Usually Crooks wouldn't allow anyone into his room because of the racial prejudice against him on account of his being black. He was the only black person for miles and certainly...