How Is Lennie Presented in of Mice and Men, and How Does It Convey Important Ideas About Society at the Time?

Lennie is a “huge man” who is often animalised to show his simplicity. He is portrayed throughout the novella as simple minded and extremely reliant on his “opposite,” George.   His actions in the novella are used to exemplify ideas about society at the time.
At the time when the novel was set, society had an over simplified opinion of certain people, and applied it to a whole group. Those with disabilities such as Lennie were often discriminated against and were thought of as lesser than everyone else. Lennie is used by Steinbeck to present how people with disabilities were treated at the time, but also how it can be possible for them to function in society. However, George’s presence and relationship with Lennie is presented to reduce the effect of his disability.   Crooks states how without George “they’ll take ya to the booby hatch.” This shows how the other characters, who represent the society at the time, had a prejudice view of those with disabilities, even those such as crooks who were discriminated against themselves.
Dreams are also presented through Lennie. The American dream was the aim for most people at the time and no less for Lennie. Lennie is the most reliant on the dream and often asks George to “tell about the rabbits.” His simple, childlike character is dependent on the dream and he uses it as a goal for most of his actions.   He gets very excited about the concept of the dream but his simplicity and enthusiasm suggests that he doesn’t realise that it is unachievable.
The dream isn’t just presented through Lennie, but all of the characters. Lennie’s manipulative character causes him to often bring up his own dream, but also others people’s dreams. Candy becomes involved, and when he talks about it Lennie often mentions “about them rabbits.” However candy’s increasing involvement makes it more dramatic when their dreams are destroyed by Lennie killing Curley’s wife. Lennie has a habit of taking away people’s dreams. He destroys Curley’s...