Many characters are introduced in the opening chapters of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, and they all change as the events of the book unfold. Two of the most dynamic characters in the book are George and Lennie; their characters change throughout the novel because of the way that they react and adapt to the situations they face.
In the first chapter, the reader is introduced to George and Lennie. They approach water and Lennie had "flung down and drank from the surface of the pool; drank with long gulps, snorting... Like a horse". He also dips "his whole head, hat and all" into the water without checking if it was clean first. It was a reckless action that he did often, which was indicated by the way George said he would get "sick like [he] was last night". The way Lennie is compared to a horse shows that he is being guided, and that he had no care in the world. Lennie is shown to be a careless and mentally challenged man who acts similar to a child, getting fascinated by the way the water "arose in little splashes" when he "wiggled his fingers" in it. He is similar to an irresponsible child and he is also cared for like one by George, and he carries the innocence of one. He doesn't seem aware of how his actions affect the things around him, which can be seen by what he did at Weed.
At the end of the book, Lennie revisits the area they stayed at in the first chapter. This scene exemplified the changes in his character which can be seen by his behavior. When he first approaches the stream, he “came as silently as a creeping bear,” unlike he did in the first chapter where he jumps for the water as soon as it came into his view. This shows his more cautious personality after he had gone through the dangers that he faced such as ...
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...ut trouble followed them to this ranch as well. He realizes that he can’t keep on believing that there would be a way out, and eventually the predatory nature of the world would catch them again. He decides that he had to shoot Lennie because by shooting him, George spares his friend the merciless death that would be delivered by Curley’s lynch mob. Lennie asks George to be angry at him, but instead he tries to make him happier. With Lennie’s death, Georges dream and his idealist view die with him.
George and Lennie change greatly throughout the novel. George goes from an idealist, untrusting companion to a more realistic and lonely man. Lennie starts as an irresponsible, reckless child to a cautious and dead murderer. They become the opposite of who they start the book as, and also leave a lasting impact on the lives of the workers around them. Word Count: 1065
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