Of Mice and Men chapter 6
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Symbol - The riverbed The riverbed scene is a major symbol in Of Mice and Men. It is the place where Lennie and George first were introduced in the novel. It is the place where the reader first understands Lennie and Georges relationship. It is the very same place where Lennie and the dream are eventually put to rest. It represents the two mens relationship perfectly, by providing the one place in the book where they aren't being un out of a town - the one place they felt safe and together.
Theme: Loneliness The final chapter represents loneliness the best. After finding out his lifelong companion murdered Curleys wife, George realizes he must be the one to give Lennie the easy way out. Through doing this though, George puts himself through unbearable pain and suffering. He will now live a life of complete loneliness and bitterness knowing his closest friend just couldn't exist in the cruel world they lived in. I would like to believe George and Slim became close friends after the end of this story. Possibly running Curley off the ranch and calling it their own after the boss passed away - for George finally feeling a sense of home and fulfilling the dream in a new way. Wouldn't that be nice.
Characterization: Lennie Lennie is a big, strong, mentally challenged man. He is constantly looked after by his companion George, who is repeatedly saving the pair from disaster. Throughout the novel Lennies character doesn't progress much, to me, I see him as a constant reminder we all have dreams we simply cannot obtain. After reading the novel, I realized that right from the start, Steinbeck was setting the character up for failure. Similar to Curleys wife, it almost seems as if he was only there to prove a certain point (Lennies obviously being a lot bigger than Curleys wife). Lennie shows readers that everyone faces challenges. It almost seems to me that Georges challenges and dreams are wishing that Lennie was never handicapped in the first place.
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