English 12 of mice and men: Chapter 1
of mice and men
Symbol: The Mouse
In chapter one the reader is given the affect that Lennie does not think for himself and is under developed. He " flung himself down and drank from the surface of the green pool" (pg 3), not thinking of the potentially contaminated water that could be harmful to him. He is a broad man "with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders" (pg 2), and has his arms loosely swinging at his sides.
The mouse is a symbol of Lennie's understanding of life and death. Lennie is drawn to soft objects. If he comes across anything that looks smooth, he is immediately drawn to it. He had carried a dead mouse in his pocket around with him so he could pat the small furry creature. It did not mean anything to him if the mouse was alive or not, either way, it was "jus' a dead mouse" (pg 5) to him. It is important to chapter one because it helps foreshadow that is going to happen later on in the book.
George allows Lennie to follow him around and he accepts his presence. Like other people that travelled between work, George could have travelled alone. Instead, he lets Lennie tag alone beside him. George has accepted the fact that Lennie's brain is not fully developed and is developing slowly. He understands that he needs constant help and he has to be there to help him.
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