"'A guy needs somebody -- to be near him,' he whined, ' a guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with ya...'" p.35
An Individual's Duty to Others
"I'll go live in a a cave!"
"'No -- look! I was jus' foolin', Lennie. 'Cause I want you to stay with me'" p.6
"'He ain't mean,' said Slim. 'I can tell a mean guy a mile off'" p.21
In this scene, where Crooks tells Lennie about loneliness, Steinbeck answers the essential question by showing us that the qualities of true friendship are just being there for someone and listening; that true friendship is fighting loneliness together. The author wants us to understand that friendship does not depend on who but what they will do to help you get through life.
In this scene, where George tells Lennie to stay because he doesn't want him to leave, Steinbeck answers the essential question that an individual's duty to others is to take care of them and protect them. The author wants us to understand that friendship is about being there for the other person no matter the situation they are in.
In this scene, Slim listens to George about how he is trying to look out for Lennie so he won't get in trouble. Steinbeck answers the essential question by showing that empathy is feeling something for the other person yet not feeling the same emotion and that it is an important characteristic of friendship because it shows understanding. The author wants us to understand that friendship is about supporting the other person by being empathetic.