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Of Mice and Men - Dystopia

  • Date Submitted: 03/20/2011 01:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.6 
  • Words: 506
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Andrew Sabuda


Back in the late 1930’s, most mentally handicapped patients would be tossed and locked up in an insane asylum. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a classic novel about the friendship between Lennie Small, a mentally handicapped person, and George Milton. Even though Lennie’s retardation is the only thing holding George back from his dreams, he does not abandon him and helps Lennie through his problems. Lennie’s uncontrollable and childish behavior remains unchanged and fuels the complications he and George encounter throughout the story.
At first, Lennie is described as a slow and dim-witted moron that cannot handle himself. He often says and does things that keep George from achieving anything. When George is looking for a job he tells Lennie to keep his mouth shut, “If he finds out what a crazy bastard you are, we won’t get no job…” (8). The way George talks about Lennie shows how his uncontrollable behavior can create complications in anything they do. Although the things Lennie says creates some minor complications, his physicality and actions are what really gets him in trouble.
In addition to what he says, the things he does are even worse. Like a child, he feels the strong urge to touch things that he thinks are nice. This gets him and George into many predicaments that could have otherwise been avoided if Lennie was able to control himself. George is telling one of his fellow workers about Lennie’s past mistakes in Weed, “…he reaches out to feel this red dress an’ the girl lets out a squawk […] and he holds on ‘cause that’s the only thing he can think to do” (41). Lennie’s childish behavior ran both him and George out of the city. If his actions weren’t enough, what amplifies them is his enormous size and power.
Near the end of the story, Lennie’s biggest weakness turns out to be his brute strength. He is so huge that he often kills small animals just by petting them. This is yet another problem that Lennie cannot control...


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