Loyalty and Sacrifice in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
556 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
John Steinbeck was born in 1902, in California's Salinas Valley, a region that would eventually serve as the setting for Of Mice and Men, as well as many of his other works. He studied literature and writing at Stanford University. He then moved to New York City and worked as a laborer and journalist for five years, until he completed his first novel in 1929, Cup of Gold. With the publication of Tortilla Flat in 1935, Steinbeck achieved fame and became a popular author. He wrote many novels about the California laboring class. Two of his more famous novels included Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck got the title for Of Mice and Men from a line of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry." In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck includes the theme of loyalty
between friends. Steinbeck illustrates the loyalty and sacrifice between friends through the friendship of Lennie and George.
The issue of loyalty is embodied in the character of George. He is an intelligent man who could make a successful living for himself on his own. He chooses to stay beside his friend Lennie. George can never get a steady job to fulfill his long-term goal of having his own farm. The first job that Lennie and George have together goes well for a while. Eventually Lennie ruins everything that is going good for them. Lennie sees a pretty dress that a girl is wearing. Without thinking about what he is doing, he goes up and grabs the dress to feel the nice fabric. This scares the girl and she tells the boss. Soon the whole town
is after Lennie. This is the perfect time for George to start a new life, without Lennie. However, because of his loyalty to Lennie, he chooses to help Lennie escape from the town. Lennie needs George to survive. It is this that propels George to make the sacrifice that he does. After Lennie kills Curley’s wife, George knows that this is the end for Lennie. No matter what, someone will eventually kill Lennie. And if Lennie gets away this time, there will be another time, and eventually the inevitable will happen. He truly loves Lennie, so he shoots Lennie painlessly in the back of the head. Lennie dies with the happy thought of the dream of the farm they want to own some day. George truly loves Lennie through thick and thin. He protects him, he guides him, and ultimately saves him from misery. George has sacrificed a better life for himself in the name of loyalty for a friend.
Steinbeck shows that the loyalty and sacrifice between friends will make people do whatever they can for their friend. George showed an immense amount of loyalty and sacrifice to his friend Lennie by staying with Lennie through thick and thin. George goes through getting kicked out of place after place, and losing job after job for his friend Lennie. Ultimately George gives the best gift to Lennie he can, the gift of peace. No matter what happens, George stays with Lennie even if it means him sacrificing a better life to be with his best friend.
How to Cite this Page
"Loyalty and Sacrifice in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Jun 2016
If you'd like to save a copy of the
paper on your computer, you can COPY and PASTE it into your word
processor. Please, follow these steps to do that in Windows:
1. Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press Ctrl+C.
2. Open your word processor and press Ctrl+V.
123HelpMe.com (the "Web Site") is produced by the "Company". The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws.
The Company makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Material is entirely at your own risk. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.
The Materials are provided on an as-is basis without warranty express or implied. The Company and its suppliers and affiliates disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.
For a complete statement of the Terms of Service, please see our website. By obtaining these materials you agree to abide by the terms herein, by our Terms of Service
as posted on the website and any and all alterations, revisions and amendments thereto.