In the book, Of Mice and Men, dedication to friendship is a recurring theme often portrayed by George Milton. This is shown in the story through his friendship and committed behavior toward his closest friend on the ranch, Lennie Small. Throughout the story, Steinbeck shows the importance of Lennie and George accomplishing their ultimate goal together, George’s compassion toward Lennie through the hardest of times, and lastly, George’s sacrifices for the benefit of his closest friend. Without George’s dedication to his and Lennie’s friendship, Lennie would not have lived as great of a life as he did, due to the opportunities George led him through, even through his last breath.Throughout the book, Steinbeck shows George and Lennie’s relationship as an exceptional friendship for their day and time. This is clearly shown in the beginning of the book as they discuss their dreams to own their own land and work hard to obtain such a dream. Lennie wouldn’t be able to be as happy as he is in the beginning of the book due to the obstruction of his mental illness, prohibiting him from doing many things he wishes to accomplish. George, however, refuses to continue with this goal without his closest friend, Lennie. As the text states, “‘An’ whatta I got,” George went on furiously. “I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get. Jus’ keep me shovin’ all over the country all the time.” (Steinbeck 11). Lennie further reciprocates this idea as he states, “‘O.K. Someday—we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and—” “An’ live off the fatta the lan’…” (Steinbeck 14). Even though Lennie’s mental illness poses as an obstacle to overcome in order to obtain their ideal ‘American Dream,’ George continues to support him through the hardest of times. When Curley questions about the closeness of the two farmers, George immediately shuts down any odd thoughts and continues to stand by his friendship with Lennie, as he states, “We travel together,” said George coldly. “Oh, so it’s that way.” George was tense and motionless. “Yea, it’s that way.'” (Steinbeck 25). Furthermore, George doesn’t easily dismiss problems that Lennie poses as an importance. For example, in the text it states, “George heard Lennie’s whimpering cry and wheeled about… “Aw, Lennie!” George put his hand on Lennie’s shoulder. “I ain’t takin’ it away jus’ for meanness. That mouse ain’t fresh, Lennie; and besides, you’ve broke it pettin’ it. You get another mouse that’s fresh and I’ll let you keep it a little while.” (Steinbeck 9). Because of his compassion toward Lennie, he continues to prove to his support of him, and the true strength that their relationship portrays throughout the book. Due to the impediment of Lennie’s natural behavior to his surroundings, George is often found making sacrifices to keep him safe, even if it may harm himself in the future. This idea is portrayed in the beginning of the book when George describes how he had promised Aunt Clara to hold the responsibility of taking care of Lennie. Another example of George’s portrayal of sacrifice is when the Boss questions their relationship, and even states, “Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is.” (Steinbeck 21). To add to this, George lies on Lennie’s behalf just so his and Lennie’s jobs don’t go down the drain. He lies in the text as he tells the Boss, “He’s my… cousin. I told his old lady I’d take care of him. He got kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid.” (Steinbeck 22). Lastly, and arguably most importantly, George takes an immensely painful sacrifice for Lennie, as he kills him near the end of the story. Even though their friendship proved to be a close relationship, George had taken the initiative and courage to kill him just so that Lennie wouldn’t have to proceed to any further suffering for his actions-which had only been due to his mental illness. In conclusion, throughout the book Of Mice and Men, George proves to be a strong character of friendship and companionship toward Lennie. Even though Lennie’s mental illness proves to be deterrent toward their goal of the ‘American Dream,’ George still holds up to his promise with Aunt Clara and remains a true friend of Lennie’s. Through all of the obstacles that these two farmers face throughout the book, George remains to accomplishing their ultimate goal together, showing compassion toward Lennie through the hardest of times, and lastly, making immensely impactful sacrifices for the benefit of Lennie. Though George does end up losing him at the end of the book, his actions and sacrifices made for his closest friend could never deny the compassion and determination he held for success of him and Lennie Small.