Lennie's Slaughter

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“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ gang aft agley,” (Burns 38). This precise verse from the poem “To a Mouse” inspired John Steinbeck to compose the widely-known novel Of Mice and Men. This book depicts the story of a clever man named George and his faithful yet mentally disabled companion, Lennie, working on a Californian ranch during the Great Depression. The two have an American Dream of owning their own farm, but this is all shattered when Lennie unintentionally murders the boss’ daughter-in-law. In order to protect his closest friend from a most terrible and cruel death sentenced to him by society, George shoots Lennie humanely. This is captured by Steinbeck in the title. The title communicates that while both go through hardships,…show more content…
For example, Candy’s dog is killed painlessly with mercy to be spared of suffering, (45). This dog lived a happy life, even until the end of it, being that he was unknowing of his soon-to-come death. On the other hand, the one that does grieve and lament is none other than Candy, who was not spared from the news of his dog’s death. Oblivion prevented the pain and suffering that came along with the burden of knowing. Further along in the story, Lennie, who had just committed murder, starts dreaming about owning a farm with a firm belief in its possibility, (105). “The mouse” was able to move on from the grievous matter due to his disengagement to the past. Instead, blinded by a fabricated fantasy, Lennie was ignorant of the fact his own life was in very grave danger, therefore he was able to carry on happily. In the poem that inspired Steinbeck, the author presents the idea that mice are not burdened with knowledge of the past nor future, (Burns 36). The idea that “mice” live in a blissful ignorance rather than stressful reality is translated from “To a Mouse” to Of Mice and Men. The “mice” are able to live life happily with no regrets, unlike the men distressed by life and in George’s case, having to live with the memory of pulling the trigger to his companion’s death. It’s this awareness that differs mice from
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