4 stars (read in 2015)
I knew it will be tragic. The start seems so smooth – two friends traveling together, dreaming to get their own place. Then it comes down to the fact that Lennie is a bit odd. I really like how George care for Lennie – getting angry with him and at the same time looking out for him. It is a short book about how special friendship is – how special it is that there is someone you can talk to, that there is someone you can share your dreams with.
Lennie symbolizes their innocent dream – to have a place they can call their own. If Lennie is there so is George’s dream. But Steinbeck doesn’t wrote this novel to be simple, nor to end in happy ever after. He wrote this to show that sometimes the real world is cruel; dreams are left to be dreams and it is natural to humans. It is natural because sometimes we just get tired of striving and trying (because of external forces like poverty, discrimination, helplessness due to lack of power etc.), forgetting the reason why we even started.
Kudos to Steinbeck because the ending is befitting. It is a hard choice for George but he knew that their dream is hard to attain and he knew that Lennie’s deeds must be sort out by his own hands for he knows him the most.