Theme Of Irony In Of Mice And Men

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At the beginning of the novella “Of Mice and Men”, Steinbeck describes the two main characters, Lennie Small, a large man who is mentally challenged and George Milton, a small and intelligent man. We already see a literary element, verbal irony with Lennie’s last name, Small. This exemplifies irony because Lennie is, in reality a large man, making his last name ironic. Lennie and George exhibit an interesting relationship, that is said to be similar to that of a dog and his master in the novel. Throughout “Of Mice and Men” it is frequently shown that George does most tasks for the group. Although he doesn't show it often, George is rather resentful of their unbalanced relationship.

Before the novel began, George had been made the caretaker
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In “Of Mice and Men”, Lennie’s actions cause many problematic events to occur. Lennie unintentionally gets into a fight with Curley, breaking Curley’s hand, kills his puppy, and eventually kills Curley’s wife. Although these are all unintentional, Lennie's strength and childish nature are a poor combination, that only seem to bring harm to the duo. After the death of Curley’s wife, the ranch workers are out for vengeance, especially Curley. Since George knows that Lennie will be tortured then killed, or imprisoned, he kills Lennie himself. Before he kills Lennie, George tells him to picture the house they have imagined for their future “‘Go on, George. When we gonna do it?’ ‘Gonna do it soon...You...an’ me’...’George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it closer to the back of Lennie’s hand. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.” (Steinbeck, Page 106). This is a horrible event but is also merciful on George’s part. Rather than make Lennie suffer, George takes matters into his own hands. Although some believe that it wasn’t George’s decision to make, he was essentially Lennie’s guardian and to some extent had the right to make this …show more content…
The most obvious one may have occurred if the other ranch workers had caught up to Lennie before George. Steinbeck describes them speaking about this and their plans aren’t pleasant, Curley says “When you see ’um [Lennie], don’t give him no chance. Shoot for his guts.” (Steinbeck, Page 97). This would entail an awful way for Lennie’s demise that would likely be prolonged. The men also discuss go into the town of Soledad “Get Al Wilts, he’s deputy sheriff.” (Pages 97 and 98). This may lead to a lifetime in jail which would be extremely difficult for Lennie, as he is mentally challenged and may get into trouble without George’s guidance. A third option could be Lennie and George escaping from the ranch and moving on to a different town. Although this is a lovely solution it is an unreasonable outcome based on the events that have occurred. If the duo were to move on from Soledad they would likely be running from the law, and this would be a difficult life to lead. From this examples it is once again evident that George made the correct decision when he killed

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