Euthanasia Is An Important Aspect Of The Novel Of Mice And Men

1426 Words May 27th, 2016 null Page
The concept of euthanasia is an important aspect of Steinbeck’s book Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck 's treatment of euthanasia evolves throughout the book. The first glimpse we catch of euthanasia is through the fate of Candy’s old dog. Carlson describes the dog saying “Ain 't nothing left for him. Can 't eat, can’t see, can 't even walk without hurtin’“ (47 Steinbeck). This paints the picture that this dog is old and miserable, but Candy loves the dog too much to just shoot it. Carlson who is the biggest proponent of killing the dog continued to pressure Candy, and says things like “Look, Candy. This ol’ dog jus’ suffers hisself all the time. If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head-” he leaned over and pointed, “-right there, why he’d never know what hit him” ( 45). This is the first major reference to the idea of euthanasia in the book. Once he says this, the other people in the bunkhouse all begin to conclude that this dog is in pain and suffering. They work to convince Candy to look beyond his selfish reasons for keeping the dog, notice that the dog is suffering, and love the dog enough to make the right decision. Slim who is the informal leader of the group even chimes in and agrees saying “That dog ain’t no good to himself. I wisht somebody 'd shoot me if i got old an’ cripple.” (45) The end result is that they kill the dog. This turn of events provides the first glimpse Steinbeck 's opinion on euthanasia. While the fate of the old dog…

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