Essay about A Mercy Killing

719 Words Dec 22nd, 2010 3 Pages
Mercy Killing: A quiet, painless death. A mercy killing is how Lennie died in John
Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. A novel that tells the tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant workers during the great depression in California. They hope to one day attain their shared dream of settling down on their own piece of land. Lennie Small is a mentally disabled but physically strong man who traveled with George. His dreams were to be “living off the fatta’ the lan” and being able to tend to rabbits. George Milton on the other hand was a quick-witted man who is friends with Lennie. George looks after Lennie and dreams of a better life of owning a ranch. George is pretty much Lennie’s conscience. For
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Like a parent he patiently repeats things for Lennie. He repeats instructions he repeats warnings, he repeats explanation, and he even repeats stories for Lennie’s enjoyment. George often gets tired of his role and becomes frustrated with Lennie. His frustration frequently comes out in angry explosions when Lennie does something to get in trouble with people around them. During one part of the book, he yells at Lennie saying “you can’t keep a job and you lose me ever job I get… an that ain’t the worst. You get in trouble. You do bad things and I got to get you out.” Another time George says “seems like I can’t go away for a minute.”
At other times, he is ambivalent towards Lennie and his dependence on him. When
Curley attacks Lennie, George watches with little concern. He stays out of the situation even after Lennie begs him to stop Curley. Finally, George sics Lennie on Curley. George knows that
Lennie can destroy Curley and he lets it happen, seemingly unconcerned by the consequences of his decision. After it is all over, he wonders if they will lose their job over the incident. A person with well- developed conscience would have never let the situation get that far out of control and certainly would not have compromised Lennie.
Strengths and weakness both contribute to Lennie’s death. The best way to understand
Lennie’s disability is to think of a small child. Like a small child, Lennie has some idea of what is right and wrong and

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