Of Mice and Men

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OfMice and Men

Thekilling of Lennie by George is out of love. Lennie is his closeaccomplice, and he would love to see him alive for long however,leaving him alive is more dangerous, most likely Curley and the mobwill lynch Lennie upon finding him. The jealous and insecurity ofCurley will not allow him to understand Lennie’s killing of hiswife as an accident. Arguably, George was right to kill Lennie as ameans to save Lennie from a painful death and future problems broughtabout by Lennie’s irrational actions.

George’sprimary reason for killing Lennie was to save him from a cruel deathat Curley’s hands. For instance, George is concerned with the crowdthat is approaching. “The voices came close now. George raised thegun and listened to the voices”(Steinbeck 51).Theapproaching crowd is out to look for Lennie after discovering that hemurdered Curley’s wife and one thing is for sure. Upon findingLennie, Curley and the crowd will not let Lennie explain whattranspired nor let him through a judicial process to determine hisinnocence or guilt. Instead, it will be a revenge mission subjectingLennie into a mob lynching. Mob lynching will be a painful death forLennie and George does not want his friend, Lennie to undergo suchtorment. As such, George has no any other option to protect Lenniefrom the inevitable cruel death other than to kill him by himself.Besides, George killed Lennie in the painless way possible, just ashe had seen Carlson terminate the life of the dog belonging to Candy.In the reasoning of George, killing Lennie is a way of helping him.

Similarly,George killed Lennie to save him from future problems because hiscondition that led him to kill animals and now Curley’s wife wasworsening. This issue is particularly clear when the rabbit in theconversation in Lennie’s mind says, “You ain’t worth a greasedjack-pin to ram you into hell. Christ knows George done ever’thinghe could to jack you outa the sewer, but it don’t do no good”(Steinbeck53).George had done so much in rescuing Lennie from trouble. In fact,they had to run away from Weed because of Lennie’s act of holdingonto a woman’s clothing. For this reason, George killed Lennie toavoid future problems brought by Lennie’s irrational actions.

Certainly,George was right to kill Lennie to save him from a horrible deaththrough mob lynching and future problems resulting from hisirrational actions. By killing Lennie, George saved him from a crueldeath at Curley’s hands. Besides, the killing of Lennie ended theproblems brought about by Lennie’s actions.


Steinbeck,John. OfMice and Men.New York: Viking Penguin, 1937.