Why Is George Responsible For Curley's Death

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George the Culprit
In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, a scene occurs where Lennie, unintentionally, kills Curley’s wife. George is the most responsible for the death of Curley’s Wife because he is Lennie’s caretaker and has conditioned Lennie to hide his actions. As Lennie’s caretaker, George should be watching him vigilantly and stop him from doing anything harmful to anything or anyone. George is responsible for Lennie’s actions because, by leaving Lennie, he allowed for a series of events to occur that led to Curley’s Wife’s death. In addition, George gets angry when Lennie kills small animals and threatens Lennie’s dream of tending to rabbits in the future. This leads to Lennie’s panic when Curley’s Wife starts to scream. From him panicking
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George is to blame for Curley’s Wife’s death because instead of being a responsible caretaker he leaves Lennie alone on multiple occasions. Early in the story, as they are on their way to the ranch, George tells Lennie, “No, you stay with me. Your Aunt Clara wouldn’t like you running off by yourself, even if she is dead” (13). After Lennie’s aunt passed away George took over in caring for Lennie. George knows he must keep his eye on Lennie or something bad might happen, similar to the situation in Weed. Later into the story when George and Lennie work in a ranch, George leaves Lennie at the ranch to go to the town with most of the other ranch hands, and Lennie goes to talk to Crooks, “Ever’body went into town, Slim an’ George an’ ever’body. George says I gotta stay here an’ not get in no trouble…” (68). While George is in town, he leaves Lennie to look after himself at the ranch when he should be looking …show more content…
More than anything, Lennie wants to have his own rabbits to take care of. Since George tells Lennie frequently that he will not be able to tend rabbits if he misbehaves, Lennie attempts to hide his misbehavior from George. The day in the barn when Curley’s Wife finds Lennie, she begins to have a conversation with him, and soon she lets Lennie touch her soft hair. He enjoys stroking her hair so much that his touch becomes heavier and she gets frightened. She cries for help, when Lennie pleads, “Please don’t … Oh! Please don’t do that. George’ll be mad” (91). Here Lennie’s actions are guided by George’s conditioning because George will get mad if he finds out he accidentally hurt her. He is more afraid to displease George than he is concerned about the safety of Curley’s Wife. As she is struggling to get out of Lennie’s grasp, Lennie states, “George gonna say I done a bad thing. He ain’t gonna let me tend no rabbits” (91). In the back of Lennie’s mind while Curley’s Wife is struggling to get away, he remembers George threatening him with not getting to tend to rabbits if he harms anything or anyone. As a result, Lennie covers up Curley’s Wife’s nose and mouth and accidentally snaps her neck. Although Lennie is the one who does the deed, George is the one responsible because of the way that he conditioned Lennie to

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