Kindness for weakness

Lennie Small is a protagonist in John Steinbeck’s book Of mice and men (1937). He and his best and only friend George Milton are ranch workers during the Great Depression in California. They have been fired from their previous job and they’re looking for a new one.

Lennie is simple-minded guy who is incapable of logical thinking. He let’s George do all the talking. For example, when they go to their new ranch they are supposed to work at, George does all the talking. That way he prevents Lennie from getting into trouble. And Lennie does indeed find himself in trouble often. I don’t know what it is but  something in Lennie gets him into trouble. And he sure doesn’t want trouble, it’s just his destiny sort of. The book doesn’t answer the question why Lennie is how he is. I think he was just born that way.

He is very kind to people. He would never hurt anyone on purpose. That is something the reader need to understand while reading the book. The trouble always find Lennie. Not the other way around. His kindness also comes out in the form of loving animals. His obsession is rabbits and dogs. Especially rabbits. Lennie dreams of his and George’s own ranch where he can tend his rabbits. That fact tells much about his personality. He isn’t a social person. He talks almost only to George. He’s more interested in animals than in conversing with other people. And in the book he completely loses track of time while watching dog puppies.

 Picture of Lennie tending puppies in the movie version of Of Mice And Men

Ultimately Lennie is a good person. He does unwise and stupid things sometimes but that is only because he is so simple a man. For example, Lennie is really strong but he can’t control his strength so he accidentally kills a woman. But he didn’t do it because he was a bad person. He wouldn’t want harm to anyone. And his loyalty to George testify to the fact that deep down he is a peace-loving man.

But on the other hand Lennie is a menace to George. George always has to watch behind him to keep him out of trouble. And still they have a very deep and respectful friendship, it’s almost like they were brothers. Lennie is also sensitive. He is not afraid of expressing feelings. You could say he is a genuine man because he doesn’t think much, so he doesn’t have any pressure from the society regarding what he should be like.

He doesn’t grow as a character in the book. He’s the same dummy throughout the whole book. And it’s good because I personally wouldn’t want Lennie to change because his personality is what the book is based on.

In a nutshell, Lennie is a heart-warming and very enjoyable character. Even when he does bad things, the reader knows it is not because his evil. He simply just can’t control himself sometimes and that is understandable. Of mice and men teaches people to respect differences between people. People are all equal but unique at the same time.

Mind map of Lennie:


7 words (didn’t find 10 challenging ones):

Bunkhouse = A room where a group of people sleep in bunk beds.

Pet = Love, cuddle

Quick eyes = A person with a precise sight

Excited = agitated

Woods = Forest

Purty = Pretty

On the outside = After, beyond


Steinbeck, John. 1937. Of Mice And Men. New York:  Covici Friede Inc.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Olga Dmitrieva
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 09:00:02

    Is a book analyses and charracter analyses which try to find something good or bad to tell. And is the book analyzes which are nothing to tell, its not that I have nothing to say but because I think it is excellent character analysis.
    And I like how you tell about Lenni!)))


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