The Ultimate Sacrifice In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Good Essays
The Ultimate Sacrifice: To Kill One Person Too Protect Many

Difficult decisions are made by everyone, in fact, they are a factor of life. Within John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men one of the characters, George, was pressured to quickly decide on a life changing event. That decision being too kill his friend Lennie or, as a result, let him die at the hands of somebody else, someone who wanted to harm him. As George knew, Lennie’s requisite death was needed in order to protect him. George’s decision was the appropriate decision considering that Lennie was a danger to himself and others; furthermore, George acted out of love.Therefore, by killing his friend George protected his companion as well as numerous others.
Lennie’s strong physique
…show more content…
In fact, near the ending of the story, he unintentionally snapped Curley’s wife’s neck trying to quiet her (91). Failing to recognize his own strength, Lennie accidentally took her life, proving that he was perilous. By shooting Lennie, George prevented Lennie from accidentally injuring or killing anyone ever again. His verdict was correct in view of the fact that he sacrificed his friend’s life with the intention to protect the lives of others. Furthermore, George’s decision protected Lennie. As a punishment for his deeds, The workers wanted Lennie executed. George realized this and told candy, “Curley’s gon’ta wanta get ‘i'm lynched. Curley’ll get ‘im killed,” (94). In consequence of killing Curley’s wife, Lennie unknowingly put himself in harm's way. Curley’s motive for wanting to kill Lennie was spite and revenge. So, instead of allowing Lennie to be murdered alone and afraid, George took matters into his own hands and made sure his friend died knowing he was cared for and full of hope. Through it's ironic, George’s choice protected Lennie from the malice of others, thus keeping him unafraid and unharmed. However, others may believe…show more content…
Consistently throughout the story George and Lennie were there for each other; in fact towards the very beginning Lennie and George discussed how they were better off than most guys because they had each other (14). When George killed Lennie a part of him died too, George knew murdering Lennie would hurt him mentally and emotionally. However he did it because he wanted what was best for his friend no matter the cost. His actions were altruistic and that made his decision the more favorable one. Another instance when George was selfless was when he gave up his dream. Throughout the story George and Lennie dreamed of and worked towards owning their own piece of land together. However, after discovering Curley’s wife dead, George returned to reality and informed Candy that they would, “never do her” (94). After losing his friend George understood the impossibility of achieving the American Dream. Beforehand George knew he would not want to live out his dream without Lennie, so by protecting Lennie and giving up on his own dream he put Lennie above himself. Conversely, someone may believe that George's actions were selfish and that he benefits himself by killing Lennie. After George comes after Lennie, the dim-witted man asks if George was going to yell at him. Reluctantly George told him “If I was alone, I could live so easy,” (103). Although George said
Get Access