Is Killing Lennie Merciful?

Superior Essays
Is Killing Lennie Merciful?
Imagine the tough decision where you must pick to either kill your best friend to end their struggles or continue to let your friend live but know that they will constantly suffer. In John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, reveals the life of both a woofer and caretaker during the 1930s named George. His best friend, Lennie who suffers from mental illness, travel with him, two best friends share the dream of having their own place to live. However, Lennie’s infantile manner and actions cause great trouble to both him and George. Lennie was accused of raping a woman in the farm near Weed, although all Lennie did was touch the woman’s soft dress, the trouble has caused them to abscond and find another job. After
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Lennie would have experience way more pain if Curley captures him. “I’m gonna shoot the guts outta that big bastard myself, even if I only got one hand” (Steinbeck, 98). When Curley realizes that Lennie was the one who killed his wife, he was super furious, not just because his wife is dead but also of what Lennie have done to his hand. He will not waste his chance of getting revenge, Curley wants Lennie to suffer, to die slowly and painfully by shooting him in the guts. Yet George does not want his best friend to suffer, he was willing to help his friend died in a less painful way. The way that George shoots Lennie, his best friend will not need to experience the pain. “And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head” (Steinbeck, 106). By shooting Lennie right on the back of his head, he will die quickly and with less pain compare to shooting him in the guts like Curley would. The decision that George did for Lennie was merciful, he was killing Lennie just to save him from the painful death that Curley was planning for him. In addition, if George has not killed Lennie, his best friend might end up in a terrible place. “An’ s’pose they lock him up an’ strap him down and put him in a cage. That ain’t no good, George” (Steinbeck, 97). Slim explains that if Curley captures him and did not kill Lennie, he might end up being …show more content…
By letting Lennie live is being cruel to him. “Well, you ain’t bein’ kind to him keepin’ him alive, said Carlson” (Steinbeck, 45). Carlson believes that it is time for Candy’s old dog to go; his dog is suffering too much. Candy’s dog has a very hard time walking around, eating, and trying to stay alive. By killing the dog, Candy’s dog will finally be out of torture. Likewise, to Lennie’s situation, George can see that there is no other way to save Lennie from suffering. If George let Lennie live, he will eventually end up being killed by Curley or be in a mental hospital for the rest of his life. Furthermore, Lennie was going crazy now; he cannot control his own mind. “And then from out of Lennie’s head there came a little fat old woman. She wore thick bull’s-eye glasses and she wore a huge gingham apron with pockets, and she was starched and clean” (Steinbeck, 100). Lennie is going crazy; he is now imagining unrealistic things happening around him. He thought that his Aunt Clara was talking to him, which is impossible since Aunt Clara was dead. In addition, he even imagines a rabbit scolding him, Lennie is suffering from fear. His mind cannot handle it anymore; killing Lennie was the right decision. It was just a merciful thing to do for Lennie. Allowing George to be the one to kill Lennie is also the right decision. “I oughtta of shot that dog myself, George. I

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