The relationship between the two very different characters, George and Lennie, has many different aspects to the bond.
The relationship between George and Lennie is very similar to a relationship between a father and son, or George as a ‘leader,’ and Lennie the ‘follower’. George is very responsible for Lennie and looks after him. This is seen very early on in the novella when the characters are first introduced as Steinbeck states they ‘walked in single file’ and ‘one stayed behind the other’ This displays how George is instantaneously depicted to be the dominant individual in this relationship, and also exposing how Lennie shadows George, as he is irresponsible, and cannot look after himself, resembling a child. Later on in the novella, George is furthermore shown to be a responsible father figure, when Lennie is drinking water, and George stops him saying ‘You gonna be sick like you was last night.’ This not only displays George’s mature personality, but shows Lennie’s irresponsibility, as from this quote, it infers how Lennie was ‘sick last night.’ However, due to Lennie’s irresponsibility, he has already forgotten this, and depends on George to stop him.
George and Lennie’s relationship also shows how Lennie can be seen as a liability, as Lennie would not be able to survive being an itinerant worker by himself and needs George. George is smart and quick-witted and looks after Lennie and his possessions as well as always speaking for Lennie as well. This is displayed, when Lennie and George are going to a work interview and Lennie thinks he has lost his work card. George already does not trust Lennie, and says ‘Think I’d let you carry your own work card?’ This shows how George would not be able to survive in the harsh world of migrant workers, as he is so forgetful. This is shown again, as George can get very frustrated with Lennie. When they are together having beans together, Lennie says that he ‘likes ’em with ketchup.’ George then explodes and starts to rant angrily about how Lennie holds him back, and how his life would be so much better without him.