Friendship

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Friendship isn’t discussed heavily. George and Lennie don’t talk about how they feel about each other or why they should stay loyal – they just stand by each other, and that’s that. It’s a very gruff, rough and tumble atmosphere, and though feelings aren’t talked about, you get the sense that the men take nothing more seriously than their friendship. For George and Lennie, as they make their way through the Depression, all they have is each other.




'They had walked in single file down the path, and even in the open one stayed behind the other. Both were dressed in denim trousers and in denim coats with brass buttons. Both wore black, shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders.'

'Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly. He pushed himself back, drew up his knees, embraced them, looked over to George to see whether he had it just right. He pulled his hat down a little more over his eyes, the way George’s hat was.'

'"I was only foolin’, George. I don’t want no ketchup. I wouldn’t eat no ketchup if it was right here beside me."
"If it was here, you could have some."
"But I wouldn’t eat none, George. I’d leave it all for you. You could cover your beans with it and I wouldn’t touch none of it."'

"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake and then they go inta town and blow their stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to."
Lennie was delighted. "That’s it—that’s it. Now tell how it is with us."
George went on. "With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. We don’t have to sit in no bar room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go. If them other guys gets in jail they can rot for all anybody gives a damn. But not us."
Lennie broke in. "But not us! An’ why? Because… because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why." He laughed delightedly. "Go on now, George!"'

'"We travel together," said George coldly.
"Oh, so it’s that way."
George was tense and motionless. "Yea, it’s that way."'

"It ain’t so funny, him an’ me goin’ aroun’ together," George said at last. "Him and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara. She took him when he was a baby and raised him up. When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while."

'The old man [Candy] squirmed uncomfortably. "Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him." He said proudly, "You wouldn’t think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen." '

'A shot sounded in the distance. The men looked quickly at the old man. Every head turned toward him. For a moment he continued to stare at the ceiling. Then he rolled slowly over and faced the wall and lay silent.'