Of Mice and Men: George Killed Lennie for Merciful Reasons

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Of Mice and Men: George Killed Lennie for Merciful Reasons

A true friendship is one in which friends care deeply enough to anticipate one another’s needs and are willing to put their friend’s needs before their own. Their mutual love enables them to make sacrifices only to protect each other. In the novella, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, George killing Lennie is a merciful kill to save others from Lennie’s unintentional acts of aggression, to spare Lennie from suffering a cruel death, and instead ensuring a peaceful and quick departure one that will cause George the least regrets.
George begins to see a pattern of aggression coming from Lennie and wants to put it to an end because Lennie is hurting too many others unintentionally and he sees Lennie is quick to frustrate and panic and is lacking in the ability to control his violent reactions. Lennie has killed many mice, a pup, and finally a woman. Although Lennie may not want to kill any other living beings, it is in his nature to become aggressive and angry when frustrated. He typically believes he “‘wasn’t doin’ nothing bad’ ” (Steinbeck 9) with the mice and he was “‘Jus’ strokin’ it’ ” (Steinbeck 9). He cannot contain his anger and that often leads to an unrestrained use of his strength. Because Lennie never has the intention to kill anything, he can feel an immense amount of guilt and remorse as seen when he runs out of the barn crying, “‘I done a real bad thing… I shouldn’t of did that’” (Steinbeck 92), after killing Curley’s wife. Despite Lennie’s remorse, he does not grasp the severity and the consequences of his actions. This is not so much due to Lennie’s slowness but more because of George’s protective nature, preventing Lennie from ever having to face any consequences. Nonetheless, George sees that Lennie is unable to learn from his mistakes and fears the pattern is going to continue and that he is unable to change Lennie. George feels justified in killing Lennie because he knows that in

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