George’s decision to kill Lennie at the end of John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men has been the subject of much debate. Some critics argue that George was justified in his actions, while others believe that he could have found another solution.
There is no doubt that George was faced with a difficult situation. Lennie had accidentally killed two people and was likely to do so again. If George did not kill him, Lennie would be killed by someone else or put in a mental institution.
However, some critics argue that George could have found another solution. He could have taken Lennie away from the ranch and hidden him somewhere. This would have been a difficult task, but it may have been the best thing for both George and Lennie in the long run.
In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, George Milton faces an extremely challenging circumstance and decision. George Milton kills Lennie Smalls, his traveling companion for years, as a result of being pushed to do so. For his own benefit, George is compelled to kill Lennie. It’s debatable that killing Lennie was motivated by selfish reasons; but he was his family and friend. He would never take such action for personal interest.
Lennie was a burden to George but he loved him, making the decision even harder. The Great Depression made things worse for everyone, especially those without family or friends. George had to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever.
He chose to kill Lennie to end his pain and suffering, and for that, George will always be remembered.
Lennie was a decent guy who never intended to cause anyone any harm. He’d always wind up in trouble or get into “bad behavior.” George gets irritated when Lennie fills these roles, since he believes Lennie would have accomplished more if he didn’t hold him back. Because Lennie scared a woman away while the men were working in Weed, for example, George ordered them to hide in an irrigation ditch overnight.
This instance made George so mad that he threw a rock at Lennie and told him off. Even though Lennie didn’t mean any harm, his actions often put George in tough situations. By the end of the novel, George has had enough of Lennie’s antics and decides to kill him.
While some people may argue that George was too harsh in his decision, it’s important to remember the time period in which the story takes place. The Great Depression was a difficult time for everyone, and George probably felt like he had no other choice. In addition, Lennie had just killed Curley’s wife, and there was a possibility that he would be sent to prison or even executed. George didn’t want his friend to go through that, so he decided to kill him himself.
Some people may disagree with George’s decision, but it’s important to remember the context of the situation. Given the time period and the circumstances, George probably felt like he had no other choice.
George clutched onto her dress, giving the impression that he was attempting to harm her. Lennie, of course, wasn’t trying to hurt anyone; he just liked stroking soft things. All of George’s difficulties would suggest that Mr. Milton wanted Lennie dead. This was not the case at all. George regarded Lennie as if he were family, and their pact with Clara Lennie’s Aunt is what brought them together.
When Lennie is happy, George is happy. When Lennie gets into trouble, George tries to fix it. It would be easier for everyone if George just let Lennie die in his sleep, but that’s not what family does. They stick together through the good and bad times.
Lennie’s disability caused a lot of problems for George. He was always having to watch out for him and make sure he didn’t do anything too stupid. This meant that they couldn’t get jobs that required them to be on their own for too long or else something bad would happen. They had to move around a lot and could never really settle down anywhere. Even though it was a lot of work, George stuck with Lennie because he had made a promise to Aunt Clara.
When Curley’s wife started flirting with Lennie, George knew that it would be trouble. He told Lennie to stay away from her, but he just couldn’t help himself. When she came into the barn and started talking to him, he got too excited and accidentally killed her. This was the final straw for George. He knew that if they were found out, they would both be in a lot of trouble. The only way to protect Lennie was to kill him before anyone else could.
It’s not an easy decision to make, but sometimes it’s necessary. When faced with the prospect of a life on the run or certain death, George chose to end Lennie’s life quickly and painlessly. It was the best thing he could do for his friend and family member.
The contrast between George and Lennie becomes apparent in their conversation about their dream. “That’s why,” Lennie remarks when George describes how he felt secure for the first time since he was a kid (14). At the end of the story, George is given only two options: allow Lennie to be tortured and murdered by the other men, or kill him himself…a quick and painless death.
George chooses the latter because he knows that it is what Lennie would want. George’s decision to kill Lennie was not an easy one, but it was the best choice given the situation. By taking matters into his own hands, George ensured that Lennie would not suffer needlessly at the hands of others. This act of mercy ultimately shows us the true nature of George’s character.
Of course, he does not want Lennie to suffer, so he does it on his own. And it is quite apparent that it was not simple. The passage from the novel “George raised the gun and his hand shook , and he lowered his arm to the ground again” (105) further supports this. George’s trembling hand attests to how tough it was for him to let go of a long time buddy. Slim is one of the few people who understands their connection.
Slim says, “ I think maybe he had to. I reckon he had to. We all got to have somethin’ to ast us before we go on. He done the best thing. Tell you what, Lennie…You ain’t never gonna know how it was. Ain’t nobody never knows how it is between a man an’ his friend.”(106) In other words, everyone needs someone or something in their life that reminds them of their purpose for living. For George, that person was Lennie. And by killing Lennie, he felt as if he were doing him a favor- freeing him from a cruel world that would only bring him pain and suffering.
Some might argue that George did not have to kill Lennie. He could have simply taken him back to the farm and let him live out his days there. But we have to remember the time period in which this story takes place- The Great Depression. People were struggling just to get by and life was extremely difficult. There were no safety nets or social programs in place to help those in need. So, in a way, George was actually being merciful by putting an end to Lennie’s life before things got too tough for him.