Defend or challenge the notion that George's act of killing Lennie was one of kindness
In John Steinbeck's classic novella, Of Mice and Men, George makes the decision of killing Lennie because he knows it is in Lennie's best interest. His act of killing Lennie is not considered criminal. George has good intentions in killing his companion. George is trying to prevent Lennie from being tortured and from his constant desire to please George and not cause trouble. Additionally, Lennie repeatedly places himself in difficult situations, and as a result, brings George into the circumstances. There is a close friendship between George and Lennie, and George had carefully thought out whether or not he should destroy his life. George is faced with witnessing the death of Candy's beloved, old dog and Candy's reaction to his death, which helps George to finalize his resolution. After several years of looking after Lennie, George knows what is best for Lennie, as well as the people around him.
George?s act of shooting Lennie can be looked upon as gracious. If Lennie had not left the world and his problems, a large amount of torture would fiercely come his way. The bloodthirsty mob, including the violent, disruptive Curley, has the mindset to demolish this ignoramus who killed Curley?s wife. Because of Lennie?s mental impairment and immaturity, he would not be able to handle such animosity. In saying that Lennie is not to blame for the death of Curley?s Wife, Lennie should not have to face the merciless people at the farm. George knows that Lennie is unable to survive in the world.
As disappointing as it is for George to know that he and Lennie will never be able to fulfill their everlasting ...
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... sheep dog and Lennie is an exceptional worker. Both Lennie and the dog are shot with Carlson?s gun at the back of their head. Carlson reasons with Candy in explaining that if he shot him in that location it would be painless. In knowing that Lennie was shot in the back of the head, George intentionally did this for him to have a more peaceful, pleasant death.
By examining George?s notion to kill Lennie, it is valid to say that his act was one of thoughtfulness and benevolence. Due to Lennie?s retardation, it is difficult for him to be independent. Lennie is able to escape being tortured, taken advantage of, and being so hard on himself just for George?s acceptance. George learns from Candy?s mistake of not killing his dog himself, and George takes the initiative to do it the right way. Euthanasia was a gracious way of George letting Lennie go.
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