Verdict of Life

Good Essays
In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck attempts to translate ideas on ethical dilemmas and complex aspects of human nature into a story about the lives of two field hands who travel around together during the Great Depression. George and Lennie, the two laborers, are different from other men in the book. George is of average intelligence, while Lennie is mentally handicapped. Since they have known each other as long as they can remember, George takes on the responsibility of caring for his disabled friend. When Lennie accidently kills the small, soft beings he loves to pet, George warns him not to let it happen again and attempts to watch over Lennie even more to try to prevent more serious problems. However, when Lennie is left alone he inadvertently causes the death of Curley’s wife; a deed that cannot be overlooked by George and the other men. They chase after the runaway killer, and George is forced to decide how to respond to the predicament. George incorrectly chose to kill his best friend out of what he thought was mercy. Lennie deserved to live because he was a very happy, productive person despite his shortcomings, he had a dream to look forward to with George and Candy, and he only brought about death due to his handicap.
Lennie’s death was harmful to others because he was a man who had been content with whatever he had while still helping get things done on the ranch. His strength let him do work nobody else was capable of. Slim mentions this amazing quality while talking privately with George. Slim said, “’Say, you sure was right about him. Maybe he ain’t bright, but I never seen such a worker….There ain’t nobody can keep up with him’” (39). Lennie was a very efficient worker, so his death makes it harder for the...

... middle of paper ...

... killing Curley’s wife, but his disability makes that very hard for him.
Lennie only killed Curley’s wife because he cannot make good choices on his own due to his mental disabilities. Whenever Lennie does do something reprehensible, he feels very bad about it and makes sure everyone understand that he did not mean to do it. Lennie does this after he fights with Curley. John Steinbeck writes, “Lennie smiled with his bruised mouth. ‘I didn’t want no trouble,’ he said” (65). It is never Lennie’s fault. Slim and George also converse about Lennie’s faultless nature when they say, “’He ain’t mean,’ said Slim. ‘I can see Lenne ain’t a bit mean.’/’’Course he ain’t mean. But he gets in trouble alla time because he’s so…dumb’” (41). The murder of Curley’s wife is just another instance of Lennie’s stupidity getting the better of him. It was no reason for George to kill Lennie.
Get Access