Of Mice and Male Animal Imagery
In the novel, Of Mice and Guy, Steinbeck uses comparisons between animals and humans to demonstrate Lennie’s animalistic qualities. Steinbeck compares Lennie to animals to highlight his innocence, immaturity, unawareness, and interest. Animal images is used to provide insight to the characters personalities and habits through the comparison between Lennie and a bear, his obsession with rabbits, and his similarities to Sweet’s pet dog. Throughout the unique, Steinbeck compares Lennie’s natures and routines to that of a bear. At the start of the novel, Lennie’s gait is described as comparable to the way a bear drags his paws (2 ).
The word “drags” hints a sense of relaxation and peace which is evident in Lennie’s character. Lennie is not interested in the minor matters that take in the other characters. As Lennie flexes down to get water from the pond, he dabbles his big paw in the water and wiggles his fingers to make circles( 3 ). “Dabbles” highlights the special in his movement and shows his unawareness to his tremendous, bearlike size. Lennie is not worried about anything other than how the water ripples. He remains untouched by the daily battles of the majority of individuals in this time period.
The contrast between Lennie and a bear reveal his unusual and tremendous size, however also the curious and careful nature of his character. Lennie’s fascination with rabbits shows his immature and innocent personality. After Lennie eliminates one of the pups, he is extremely concerned with the fact that George might not enable him to tend the bunnies anymore( 85 ). Lennie’s immaturity is depicted by his failure to recognize the complete degree of what he has actually done. Before George shoots Lennie, Lennie makes sure that he will still assume the position as the bunny tender( 105 ). This is another example of how Lennie’s immaturity is illustrated.
Although Lennie just killed Curley’s partner, he is only concerned with the rabbits. Lennie’s love of rabbits is a clear example of his immaturity and innocence. Sweet’s relationship with his pet dog is similar to George and Lennie’s connection. Sweet informs Slim “He does not mind looking after his pet,” however Slim concurs he requires to be shot( 45 ). Lennie and Candy’s canine both were unable to leave death, and Slim agrees in both circumstances that it is for the better. Towards the end of the pet dog’s life, Carlson discussed to Candy that “he ‘d shoot the pet dog right in the back of the head. He would not feel it”( 45 ).
After George shoots Lennie, Curley explains “right in the back of the head”( 107 ). George shot Lennie himself so Lennie would not hesitate. Neither the canine or Lennie saw it coming, nor were they mindful that their lives will end. The contrast between Sweet’s pet dog and Lennie illustrate Lennie’s innocence and his unawareness of what he had done. Animal images is utilized throughout the unique to reveal the contrast in between Lennie’s personalities to that of an animal. Each animal demonstrates a various habits of Lennie’s. The bear reveals his interest, the rabbits reveal his innocence and immaturity, and the pet dog reveals his unawareness.