Of Mice and Men Of Mice and Men question


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Did George do the right thing at the end of the book?
Kelsey Kelsey Oct 22, 2017 12:42PM
I think George did not do the right thing at the end of the book because I believe Lennie still had a reason for living and that should not have been taken away from him. There were plenty of other solutions to Lennie's problem than killing him. I also think that George should not have given up on his and Lennie's dream, I think it was 100% possible, if George had allowed it to be.



I didn't read the other responses, so they might have said the exact thing I'm going to say but ...

You have to remember, the story does not take place in 2018. It takes place during the Great Depression. That was a time of desperation. When people are desperate, they become more animalistic. If the mob had gotten him, Lennie would've died a worse death or gone to jail for life, where he would probably have been abused or neglected. That's not a good outcome either.

George did what he thought was best. That doesn't make it right or wrong. I think the point of the story is that, when you're in a situation like that, your morals start to break down and you realize the world is much more than black and white. I like to think I would've let Lennie live and tried to find a way out. The reason I like thinking that is because it's strictly hypothetical. I'm never going to actually be in that situation, so I can lie to myself about how easy that decision is. If I was actually in that position, I would most likely do what George did. Not as an easy way out, but as a way to protect my friend.


M.E. (last edited Mar 12, 2018 01:22PM ) Mar 12, 2018 01:19PM   0 votes
Many of the responses have already touched on the generational gap when looking back on this but there are other things in play. If we are only questioning George's final actions, why not question Lennie's?

Sounds kind of ridiculous doesn't it. George felt he was sparing Lennie from a consequence he rightfully earned. Killing the rabbit was far enough to suggest both a past and future behavior. There weren't mental institutions available to a man of his circumstances or many lining up to accept a violent and mentally handicapped burden. The scenario plays on our heart-strings until he murders the woman in the barn. The severity fever pitches and so does the reactionary response in the people protecting themselves from Lennie's actions.

The only question left for the period piece is, was it a noble death? In the character of George, it was. George had facilitated, cared for and vouched for Lennie. In that hopeful way, he had believed Lennie capable of proving him correct. Call it a brother's gamble in the vain of Cain and Abel. Those roles are reversed and Cain reduced to a simple yet destructive force and the noble brother is called to intervene. Lennie died at George's hands because he would have fought back, most likely injuring more people, more fault on both their hands, and then be reduced to a begging brother on the gallows, more likely sharing the space with George in his inaction should this had not ended as it had.

George's action were not that of a passion to harm, but to release someone he cared for from a worse fate. Adversely, Lennie murdered a woman with a dangerously malicious intent, even though he was handicapped. If we begin arguing away Lennie's responsibility, we may as well suggest all murderers are simply not right in the head and should be given freedom to explore not murdering, while faltering and murdering in that process. It protects no one. What we don't see is how George lives with it afterword, racked with the guilt of what Lennie has done, and having to put the man down that he believed capable of proving his knowledge of him wrong.

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Johnny T With dangerously malicious intent? I see what you're saying, and I would argue at a certain point you can see his aggression come out--if I recall cor ...more
Jan 03, 2019 03:47PM · flag
U 25x33
John However, what M.E. is saying is true. Just because Lennie doesn't realize that his "innocent" ways of preventing someone from crying for help or when ...more
May 26, 2019 01:31AM · flag

It was more like it had to be done. Steinbeck constantly reminded us that their world was merciless to the weak and that Lennie would have been taken out in the worse way by a mob. Let's say Lennie somehow does escape the mob, someone would still prey on his innocence and he will eventually hurt someone else. George saved him from an unforgiving society.


George definitely did the right thing. If he did not kill Lennie, Curly would definitely have had him tortured and painfully killed. Shooting him was painless. What would you do if your friend was in Lennie's situation?


I think that George wasn't given much choice in killing Lennie because they wouldn't have been able to run away as they did in weed, they were chased out and even that didn't teach Lennie anything, and George knew this wouldn't be any different. Even though no one liked Curley's Wife, she did represent hope, and her death was almost like a spark to give Curley something to fight for. Its worth mentioning that if George didn't kill Lennie, he would have been butchered by the other men, so it was kinder to put him down with a nice final image.


I don't think George did the right thing, but I think the point of the ending is to make the reader realise how bad influences can affect the line of development of a character (in this instance, George "hanging out" with the wrong group of people compared to Lennie).


i think that it was a tremendously difficult dilemma for George, he decided to shoot Lennie for both selfish and non-selfish reasons. He could have run away with Lennie again, but he was tired of moving around becuase of him. He also didn't want to put the lives of other people in danger, since Lennie was getting more dangerous every day. He also wanted to protect Lennie from the mobs, because if they had caught him, they would have tortured him heavily. Whether he did the right thing or not, I am not sure. I think that the book has a such melanchonic way to descirbe the bitterness of The Ameican Dream. It was almost impossible for the chaachters to fulfill their dreams. It also talks about the hopes of brotherhood and the cruelty of the real world. I have read the book twice and I have enjoyed reading it.


For me, He did the right thing, I mean... He had good reasons to do that. And he avoid lennie to suffer in prison or be killed by Curley. Maybe it wasn't the better solution but it was one. Lennie can't survive in the society without George. And George probably realised he can't take care of Lennie everytime. And also, Lennie can be a danger, even if he's not evil. So for me it was the right thing to do.
Sorry for the bad english and the mistakes. It's not my native language.


Kelsey wrote: "I think George did not do the right thing at the end of the book because I believe Lennie still had a reason for living and that should not have been taken away from him. There were plenty of other..."
I believe that George did the right thing by Lennie as if he didn't kill him himself then Curley would of done worst especially considering Lennie also hurt Curley's hand.


The first thing im going to say it is that i hate so much that book.

I think George did the righ thing, if he never killed him, the other mans will kill him by a so cruel way!!!


It wasn't "the right thing" at all, but he realised he had come to an impasse regarding the situation with Lennie. All the men were chasing him, and Curley had asked George to stay with them, since he didn't trust him. We all could sense that it wasn't easy for him.
And I think that the dream is a central symbol the writer uses as something that cannot be achievable by common folk. It could have worked out, though the message transmitted would be completely different :) A happier one


I saw a lot of parallels between the old dog that was humanely killed earlier in the book. His owner (help, I can't remember his name) was quite heart broken over it, and full of regret, feeling that he should have been the one to do it.

The rest of the world, including the mob, would have been very cruel to Lennie. Either Curly would have killed him... and Lennie would have experienced more pain and confusion, or he would have been tried for murder and sent to prison, or an asylum. He would have been separated from George, and their dream would not be realized.

It was a final act of mercy, performed by the only person who cares for him, who tried to understand him.


Yes, it would have been inhumane to allow George to be slaughtered like a pig by hate-crazed Curley, or worse, allow him to be sentenced to an asylum for the criminally insane where he'd be chained like an animal in a lonely cell. A fate worse than death.

George's love for Lennie was so great that he risked being arrested and tried for murder so that Lennie could be spared death or horrific treatment at the hands of vengeful people and uncaring strangers.

Lennie's death was foreshadowed by the execution of Candy's mangy old dog by Whit, who took him out and shot him. Later, Candy said he shouldn't have let anyone but himself shoot his dog, implying that euthanasia to prevent suffering was an act of love, an honorable sacred duty.

Both Lennie and Candy's dog died quickly and painlessly.


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