Of Mice and Men George Milton Essay
QuaidIn the 1900’s America was hit with the greatest economic downfall the country has ever seen, dubbed the Great Depression. This period in time sets the stage for the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Through the main character George Milton, John demonstrates his naturalistic ideals and belief in Determinism. A deeper look at the character, George Milton, brings forth his role as the protagonist in the book, his dream in the book and the purpose of his action in regards to Lennie’s death. Just by reading the first few pages of the book it becomes apparent that he plays the role of the protagonist in the novella.
It is almost undisputed that, anomalies aside, that George is Lennie’s protector and friend. He means no harm and he almost always acts with his friend’s disabilities and needs in mind. A prime example is the fact that George stays by Lennie even after saying, “if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all…’ ‘An’ whatta I got,’ George went on furiously. ‘I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get. Jus’ keep me shovin’ all over the country all the time’”(103).
One must keep in mind that George knows the benefits that leaving Lennie will bear and still stays by Lennie’s side. Also, George took offence to Slim’s comment about Lennie being a “cuckoo”(39) and defends Lennie, playing the devil’s advocate and fighting for those who can’t defend themselves. Throughout the novella George’s dream becomes a point of controversy and motif. He wishes to “live of the fat of the land” with Lennie. Throughout the book four men shared this dream other than George and Lennie, Candy and Crooks were also intrigued.
But when things boil down it is a simple fact that George had the most to lose if things went awry and indeed they did. It was obvious that all four of the men were affected negatively when the plan ended up awry, Candy was even caught cursing at the thought of the dream disappearing. However, neither Crooks nor Candy were not exposed to the idea long enough to be truly upset. Although the dream was originally Lennie’s dream, George has taken such a liking to it he believed it himself, like lying so much you believe in the lie. This proves the significance of George’s dream and how it out weighs Candy’s or Crook’s dream.
Finally, we must analyze the importance of George’s action at the end of the book. To do this we must look at Lennie’s death in a different light. When it all comes down, when George shot Lennie he was dong him a favor. While the thought of killing someone as a favor to the victim is hard to grasp, it becomes much clearer when we look at the situation in a third person omniscient point of view. As the reader it is clear that when Curley get his hands on Lennie it was going to be a one sided blood bath and endless minuets of agonizing pain and suffering that will only end when Lennie bled to death.
On the other hand George shot Lennie in the head, it was over in less than a second and Lennie faced much less pain than he would have if Curley got to him. Showing that George was indeed justified in his shooting of Lennie and that he was actually doing a good deed in choosing the better of the two evils. All in all, when a reader looks at the character George Milton he or she must take a deeper look at his role of the protagonist, his dream and the significance of him shooting Lennie at the end of the book.
The whole book set’s George up as the good guy; George is to Lennie as Batman is to Gotham city. The disappointment and sorrow that he experiences exemplifies Steinbeck’s naturalistic and deterministic ideals and the choice he made to shoot Lennie was actually an act to save him. When looking at George, he really is like a mother because when the child is force to study, it often feels like a shot to the back of the head; however, she is saving her Lennie(s) from doomed failure in life beyond school.