In the book Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, two men travel together to escape their pasts. They arrive at a ranch in the Salinas Valley with hopes to achieve their ultimate dream; to buy a place to call their own. Lennie, who is a simple-minded man, and George, who is just a typical guy are brought together and make a lasting friendship out of the loneliness of each man. While spending time on the farm George and Lennie meet some friendly characters, but because of some accidental deaths their dreams drift away. Foreshadowing may create a literary theme.
Lennie is a massive and powerful man, but is dull-witted, George on the other hand is scrawnier and not as mighty. Both are hearty individuals just trying to survive a tough life. After Lennie’s Aunt Clara passed away George took the responsibility of looking after Lennie. Through good and bad times George has learned to love and protect him. Lennie, an animal lover at heart always takes pleasure from petting them. He loves all small, soft, fuzzy things and cannot help himself from petting them. During their journey to the new ranch, Lennie catches a mouse, “I could pet it with my thumb while we walked along.'; (Steinbeck:6). George hates it when Lennie catches animals and plays with them “well you ain’t petting no mice while you walk with me.'; (Steinbeck:6) because he knows Lennie could end up killing the tiny animal. Lennie does not know his own strength and handles the mouse too rough “you’ve broke it pettin’ it.'; (Steinbeck:9) After the two men spend the night in the woods, they finish their journey and arrive at the ranch.
Soon after they arrive at the ranch, George and Lennie meet some new and delightful people that they will be living with, until they earn enough money to buy a place of their own. One of the new people that Lennie and George meet was Candy and his old dog. Candy was an old swamper, and was missing one hand, his dog was just like him, very old and in poor shape. The poor old dog was blind, deaf, had no teeth and everyone complained about it smelling horrible, “we can’t sleep with him stinkin’ around in here.'; (Steinbeck:47) All the farm ...
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... killing the only friend he had and was someone who he had promised to protect, but he still believed he had to do this. Lennie did not have a chance to stand up for what he had done, society in the 1930’s was different from us today. People did not receive the chance to stand up for what they did and receive the actions of punishment, they would just be shot on the spot or taken and hung. This was the major mercy killing in the book and was foreshadowed by each of the other killings Lennie committed.
Two men brought together through each others loneliness, travel around with hopes to achieve a dream someday, but it begins to go awry when they arrive at the new ranch. Some accidental killings brought George to the stage of having to mercy kill a long time friend to save him the grief of being shot in the gut by Curley. In the 1930’s these people that may have done something wrong by accident did not have a chance to stand up for their actions, but were killed on the spot or taken and hanged. The different killings in the story all foreshadowed the final death of Lennie. This foreshadowing created a literary theme of mercy killing.
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