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Of Mice and Men Lennies Worst Enemy is his Own Strength

Lennie Small is a gentle giant who possesses and almost superhuman strength that ultimately leads to tragedy. We first read about Lennie's great strength in the opening scene when he has killed, probably by accident, the pet mouse he has in his pocket. We learn that it is not the first time Lennie has killed pets. During the same scene, Steinbeck compares him to a bear and a horse, both strong animals. This imagery of Lennie as an animal continues. He is also compared to a terrier, indicating that he is a faithful and loyal companion to George.Steinbeck makes his characters pick up the animal references too. When George tells the boss that Lennie is: "Strong as a ball," Lennie repeats the statement. The repetition has the effect of again giving the reader clues that Lennie's strength ill be significant to the development of the story. Steinbeck fully develops the animal comparison at the end by drawing a parallel between candy and his no longer useful old dog, and George as the master of the dog-like Lennie, who can no longer be useful after he has accidentally killed Curley's wife.All the other characters witness Lennie's strength sooner or later. George mentions it frequently, and Slim says: " I never seen such a worker. He damn near killed his partner bukin' barley. There ain't nobody can keep up with him. God almighty, I never seen such a strong guy." Demonstrations of Lennie's strength continue with details of the incident in Weed when Lennie is accused of assaulting a girl, which we do not witness, the mangling of Curley's first, and the accidental killing of both the puppy and Curley's wife.There are times with Lennie's strength is a positive advantage, however, and, if harnessed appropriately, which George attempts to do as much as he can, it is a virtue. As long as Lennie keeps quiet at interviews and lets George do the talking, he makes and excellent impression as a worker and probably contributes greatly to ensuring that th...

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