How Does George Kill Lennie Selfish

959 Words4 Pages
‘Lennie begged, “Le 's do it now. Le 's get that place now.”’ George concurs, places the Luger on the back of Lennie’s head, and shoots him. One of the most controversial aspects of George Steinbeck 's novel Of Mice and Men, was the death of Lennie by his friend’s hands. Many believe that George murdered him in Lennie’s best interest, yet many others believe that George was being selfish and with his act, removed the burden of Lennie. However, George was completely justified in murdering Lennie as he had no other choice if he wanted what’s best for his friend and the world at large. Despite his inability to understand what he does, Lennie still possessed a threat to society. Lennie was woefully unaware of the damage he caused and his ability to…show more content…
Unfortunately, death by George’s hands was the best option for Lennie. Contrary to George’s hopes, having Lennie in prison would be inhumane. Slim states that if “they lock him [Lennie] up an’ strap him down and put him in a cage” it “ain’t no good,” since Lennie, if he was in prison, would be subject to a life confined to dark cages, misery and being oppressed by others (Steinbeck 97). In addition, there would have been no guarantee that Lennie would avoid capital punishment, for murder of a woman and many animals alongside the assault of Curley would be a sufficient charge to warrant the death penalty. Even still, Lennie was much more likely to die from Curley’s lynch mob had George not shot him first. As evidenced by the events of Chapter 6, Curley’s men were able to independently get near Lennie, and were likely to approach him even without George as the “shouts of men” got louder and louder. If Lennie was killed by Curley, he would have been shot in the guts, and died painfully as he bled out. Only George, by retelling his dreams about the farm, could spare Lennie from such a fate, and let him die as he lived: blissfully ignorant. Through sparing him the anguish that awaited his friend, George is justified in his
Open Document