“Loyalty and friendship, which is to me the same, created all the wealth that I’ve ever thought I’d have.” – Ernie Banks. Friends get us through rough times, providing support and understanding when no one else can. Throughout “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, a character named Lennie makes many mistakes. He has almost no one on his side, except for George. George is Lennie’s only true loyal friend.
Everyone experiences loneliness in their life at one time or another, and a loyal friend can be a haven in this heartless world. George shows his loyalty to Lennie on almost every page, especially when Lennie does horrible things. In the beginning of the story, the two men are running from their past after Lennie gets them into trouble. Lennie has the mind of a younger child, so he makes many mistakes.
George protects and cares for Lennie. “He reaches out to feel this red dress an’ the girl lets out a squawk…that girl rabbits in an’ tells the law she been raped…So we sit in an irrigation ditch under water all the rest of that day.” (Steinbeck, 41-42). George risks his life and future helping Lennie stay out of trouble. He protects him even when he makes mistakes. Later in the story, Curley gets into a fight with Lennie. Lennie doesn’t throw any punches back, though, until George instructs him to do so: “‘Get ‘im, Lennie!’ The next minute, Curley was flopping like a fish on a line and his closed fist was lost in Lennie’s big hand.” (Steinbeck, 63). After this incident, George still sticks by him. He has the other men cover for Lennie, saying Curley “got his hand stuck in a machine.” Lennie then makes one of the biggest mistakes of his life, killing Curley’s wife. She and him are speaking in the barn casually until she makes him angry. George later finds Candy and her body. “George was a long time in answering. ‘We can’t let ‘im get away, poor bastard’d starve…I ain’t gonna let ‘em hurt Lennie.’” (Steinbeck, 94-95).
Lennie murders a woman, and the other workers want to torture him for his crime. Lennie almost gets in trouble with the law as well and assaults the man he works for. George is there for Lennie every single time he messes up, staying loyal to Lennie. Most friends would leave after the first mistake, but not George. Without George, Lennie could be in an awful place. Plus, George provides Lennie with someone to talk to who will actually listen and understand. People make mistakes in their lives, and honest, devoted friends are the ones that will be there for you in the worst times.
This is extremely important to have in such a heartless world. George knows Lennie better than anyone on that ranch, and always listens to Lennie. He sticks by him even though he knows he could have a better life without Lennie tagging along, getting them in trouble. He does awful things such as hurting a girl, assaulting a man, and even murder. George helps him through everything, being the most faithful friend a person could ask for. George knows and loves Lennie and would never let anything happen to him. In this cruel world, everyone needs a shoulder to cry on and a faithful friend who will help you through it all.
- Ernie Banks quote – Brainy Quotes (https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/ernie_banks)
- Quotes from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck