The author John Steinbeck presents the relationship between the two characters, George and Lennie in different ways as they are both different characters and have different personalities but mostly like a parent child relationship, a one-sided relationship. Many men during this time were itinerant workers who travelled from ranch to ranch looking for wages that would be sufficient until they had to move. These workers were the loneliest people. It is this setting that highlights the importance of their relationship.
He presents it like a parent and child relationship, with George being the parent and Lennie the child. As soon as the reader is introduced to George and Lennie Steinbeck tells us that, They had walked in single file down the path. This tells the reader of the kind of relationship between George and Lennie, it does this by stating single file. Personally this reminds me of a game called follow the leader. Even though they are both migrant workers, George is the one in the front, revealing himself as the leader.
Lennies nature is almost childlike; I believe that Steinbeck describes him as incapable and solely dependent on George in order to show how loyal George truly was, by dealing with all the trouble that Lennie caused. Lennie who had been watching, imitated George exactly. Children normally imitate their parents and some people believe that this is how children learn some habits. In my opinion, Lennie’s mimicry, is not just as a means to cope with the harsh world they lived in but that Lennie genuinely respected and admired George.
The reader could also notice throughout the first chapter that George has a sense of authority over Lennie, you gonna get that wood. This is like a parent telling a child to do his chores. On some occasions though George shows a bit of hatred towards Lennie,George exploded this in my opinion is more of like a parent scolding their child after doing something silly.
There is also a sense of mistrust in the relationship between the two men. We see this in the problem with the work cards. It tells us that George again has to take care of Lennie, and that Lennie isnt trusted by George. Again this idea is portrayed to the reader when we notice that George knows that he needs a plan b as Lennie cannot be trusted so his plan b is to tell Lennie to hide in the brush until I come for you. This helps us to understand the relationship even further, in that even though there are some tensions and instances of mistrust George genuinely cares for Lennie and wishes nothing but to keep him safe and help him.
In conclusion the relationship is that of a parent and child. However, as the story progresses we come to acknowledge the fact that George does not think that he is superior than George but just someone whose duty is to control and guide Lennie who is mentally challenged.