Responsibility Of Lennie In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Murder is never moral. It wasn't moral for George to kill Lennie in the novel Of Mice and Men, but sometimes a person’s best interest is the most moral option. George loved Lennie, held so much compassion for him. Lennie is a character who is faced with few options throughout his life, being institutionalized always one of them. George doesn’t want Lennie to suffer, shooting Lennie out of a complex compassion for his friend.

Though, not a commonly perceived theme, Of Mice and Men is a book that exemplifies themes of love, friendship and compassion. From the very beginning of the story it’s clear George and Lennie are close. It’s also made clear Lennie is a bit of nuisance, George saying “I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn’t have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl.” Though, despite this George remains with Lennie, despite knowing
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People who possessed any mental disability or setback were deemed socially unacceptable and isolated in institutions. Lennie in Of Mice and Men is indirectly characterized through his speech and childish like actions, as mentally disabled. Though Lennie could work and function in a labor setting, if it weren’t for his companion George, Lennie would have been institutionalized. In institutions patients were treated inhumanely, experimented upon, and subjected to disfiguring medical procedures. Drugs, electroshock therapy, and lobotomies were just a few procedures carried out upon the mentally ill and disabled. The stigma surrounding the disabled is clear in the story when George lies, saying Lennie was kicked in the head as a child. George, instructs Lennie constantly. This is first deemed controlling on George’s behalf, but as the story progresses, it’s clear George is controlling because he doesn’t wish trouble on Lennie, he continues to explore the best solution for
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