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How Lennie is Like a Mouse in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Satisfactory Essays
The characteristics of mice are simple and feebleminded. A mouse is helpless, timid and oblivious. Few characters in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men possess such characteristics. Throughout the novel, Lennie exhibits the qualities associated with mice.

Lennie relies on others to think for him. He won’t act or react unless he’s told to. When he’s getting punched in the face by Curley, Lennie doesn’t even flinch until George tells him to:

“Get ‘im Lennie!” Lennie took his hands away from his face and looked about for George, and Curley slashed at his eyes. The big face was covered with blood. George yelled again, “I said get him.” Curley’s fist was swinging when Lennie reached for it. The next minute, Curley was flopping like a fish. (Steinbeck 63)

Lennie, like a mouse, is helpless. Lennie relies on George to think for him like mice rely on scraps of food from the dinner table to eat.

Since he relies on George to do most of the talking for him, Lennie tends to get nervous when he’s alone with others. When Curley asks him when he and George came in, Lennie freezes up, scared that whatever he says will get him into trouble, “His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious. Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously.” (Steinbeck 25).

Mice are shy creatures who try to, at all costs, avoid trouble. Lennie is scared to talk to others because he’s scared he’ll get himself into trouble.

Lennie is oblivious to what’s going on around him, it’s as if he’s in his own little world. As Curley is giving everyone a lecture because he thought Slim was with his wife, Lennie is just laying down on a bed laughing to himself:

His eyes slipped on past and lighted on Lennie, and Lennie was still smiling with delight at the memory of the ranch. Curley stepped over to Lennie like a terrier. “What the hell you laughin’ at?” Lennie looked blankly at him, “Huh?
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