Social Contract In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The social contract is the idea of trusting others in exchange for general security. Friendship is another term used to describe the social contract. The social contract allows for a better more peaceful society until someone breaks the contract. In the book “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck two men are searching for jobs during the Great Depression. The book describes one who is mentally challenged, Lennie, and another one who cares for Lennie, named George. Lennie is continuously getting into trouble and causing problems for George. When Lennie snapped the neck of Curley 's wife it forces George to break the social contract between the two of them. In retaliation for Lennie’s actions, George shot Lennie because of justified anger, mercy,…show more content…
After Lennie kills Curley 's wife he is fated to be punished for his actions. Curley wants revenge, decreasing the chances that Lennie will be spared and sentenced to jail time. Due to Curley’s tendency to act violently, Curley would brutally murder Lennie to avenge the death of his wife. Lennies options aren’t good “Curley’s gonna shoot ‘im… [or] they lock him up an’ strap him down and put him in a cage. That ain’t no good” (97). By shooting Lennie, George tries to spare him the pain of rotting away in a jail cell or the agony of Curley attacking him. Additionally, George doesn’t want Lennie to be scared, he wants Lennie to be happy before he died. George felt that it was better that he was the one to do it. Similarly, when Candy lets Carlson shoot his dog he immediately regrets it, “[he] oughta shot that dog [himself]... [he] shouldn’t outta of let no stranger shoot [his] dog” (61). Lennie never intends to hurt anyone and does not deserve to be ruthlessly killed by Curly, an unfamiliar face, who intends to make Lennie suffer. Even after fighting Curley, Lennie “didn’t want to hurt him” (64). George showed mercy to Lennie when he shot him because he knew the alternate outcomes and killed Lennie as painless as
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