How Is George Justified In Of Mice And Men

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Taking someone’s life is nearly impossible to justify. In John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, George had to make a tough decision when he killed his best friend, Lennie, to save him from a more painful death. The story takes place during the Great Depression in California, and follows two unlikely friends, Lennie, a extremely strong yet mentally disabled man and, George, who is much smarter and the leader of the two. George and Lennie are migrant workers, and after losing their previous job, have come to the ranch where the story takes place to find work. After Lennie accidentally murders Curley’s wife, he runs away, and a band of the workers assemble to punish Lennie, with Curley, an aggressive and prideful character as the leader. George knows that if he doesn’t do something, …show more content…

When George was contemplating what to do, Slim, a leader to the men, stepped in and suggested, “If we could keep Curley in, we might. But Curley’s gonna want to shoot ‘im. Curley’s still mad about his hand. 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). With Slim’s thoughts on the subject, George knew the other men would be terrible to Lennie, and that helped him to make his choice. Mercy killings are used in situations like this, where death is a better option than life. In a similar circumstance, Gigi Jordan killed her autistic son to save him from abuse from a large number of people. The mother chose “a ‘mercy killing’ to spare him from abuse at the hands of almost half a dozen people” (Rosenberg). Knowing her son would suffer much more had she not done something, Jordan made the same decision as George to kill him out of mercy. In both conditions, the person in charge stepped in to save their companion from suffering. George had empathy for Lennie, which caused him to end his partner’s

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