Lennie is a large, strong man who has a learning disability. He is a migrant worker that heavily depends on his friend George to give him advice and protect him in situations he does not understand. His weakness is his enormous strength as he doesn’t understand the true capabilities of his own strength.
Also, he takes pleasure in petting soft animals. He shares the dream of owning a farm with George, but he does not understand the implications of that dream. His life ends in tragedy, after accidentally killing a woman.
‘Drank with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse’
‘Because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you’
‘Go on… George. How I get to tend the rabbits’
‘Lennie watched her, fascinated’
‘Lennie leaned eagerly towards his, “Le’s go, George. Le’s get outta here. It’s mean here.’
Lennie said softly, “We could live off the fatta the lan’ .””Sure” said George.
‘I wisht George was here. I wisht George was here’
Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt to make friends. (At Crooks)
‘He doesn’t understand the social stigmas between the whites and the blacks. He doesn’t understand that Crooks’ place is private and this shows how he doesn’t really know what he is doing without George.’
‘He shook her then, and he was angry with her and her body flopped like a fish Lennie had broken her neck.’
(In reference to Lennie) – ‘I have never seen such a strong guy’
“Tend rabbits,” it said scornfully. “You crazy bastard. You ain’t fit to like the boots of no rabbits”
This shows how hard Lennie is on himself. This is after Aunt Clara has had a go at him and the rabbits that he has been wanting to tend throughout the novella are now going against him. This shows that he understands the gravity of the situation that he is in and how bad it really is. Furthermore it is an echo of George’s voice which shows how much of an influence he is on Lennie.
‘Oh! George- George- George!’
‘Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering’