Of Mice and Men
Many of you may think it was easy enough for George to pick up that Luger and shoot this man, Lennie, right in the back of the head. This, however, is not so. The internal conflict that George must have faced was no doubt greater than anything you can imagine. George, an angel of mercy to his good friend and confidant, Lennie Small, is not a murderer. He is quite the opposite.
The care of Lennie had been placed into George s hands by a dying woman. George had promised that he would take care of Lennie, watch after him, make sure he was safe. Because the greatest danger to Lennie, George and this Aunt Clara must have known, was himself. His sheer strength and simple mindedness had gotten Lennie in trouble many times before, and then, suddenly, he had killed a woman. The blame can not be placed anywhere for this woman s death. Lennie had no idea what he had done, the only thing he knew was that George would be upset.
George did not kill Lennie out of spite, not because his thoughtless, innocent, act had dashed George s hopes of having a small farm. George had to do this because the other choices were grim. Lennie could be hanged, bludgeoned and beaten by the group of ranch hands that were after him. Or, maybe worse, Lennie would have been ripped from George s side and been thrown into some horrid mental institution, a danger to himself, a danger to others. After all, if they had escaped that town there would be the next town, the next dead girl, and another gang to out run.
Perhaps it is best if Lennie s last, simple thoughts were of George telling him of the land they would own and work together. George did not, after all, just go up to Lennie and shoot him, point blank in the back of the head. He painted a lovely picture for Lennie to gaze upon before Lennie died, of the vegetable garden they would plant and the rabbit hutch that Lennie would be in charge of. Also, had Lennie lived, he would have never understood why there would not be ranch, only that there would be no soft rabbits for him to tend.
What George did was a duty to himself, to Lennie, to society, because they would have always been running from something to somewhere. George has suffered the most out of any of these parties involved. He has lost a good friend and companion, a rarity in these times. What he did was out of love, not malice, and he should not be prosecuted.
George has to live with what he had to do. That should be enough punishment.