English 2 P.5
23 October 2008
Dr. Jack Kevorkian prescribes euthanasia, a dignified, painless way of dying, to terminally ill patients. In Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, George faces the similar situation with Lennie, a large man with mental difficulties, while at a ranch near the Salinas River. Lennie, unaware of his own strength, kills Curley’s wife; this initiates a pursuit to kill Lennie. George finds Lennie and when the men are nearly there, George shoots Lennie in the head. George’s intentions justifies the merciful deed he commits.
George’s actions spare Lennie, the person George is responsible for, a more painful and violent death. Lennie’s death is inevitable; George does not want “to have no stranger shoot” (86) Lennie. In fact, George felt that Lennie should be killed by someone who loves and cares for him rather than a stranger. George wants Lennie to die while enjoying himself by retelling Lennie about their dream. In addition, George knows that “they’d lock [Lennie] up an’ strap him down and put him in a cage (97) if Lennie were put in prison. Lennie would not be able to survive under those conditions due to his child-like mind which could not understand what he did wrong. George prevents Lennie from suffering a torturous, painful experience.
Lennie’s death is an act of love that George bestows. Lennie trusts George to “ never raise his han’ to [him] with a stick” (102). This trust forms from all the love and protection George gives to Lennie. If Curley gets his way with Lennie, George will fell as if he betrayed Lennie’s trust. As George attempts to shoot Lennie his “hand shook violently, but his face sets” (105) then he pulls the trigger. Though this is heart-wrenching thing for George to do, he realizes there is no other choice. George kills Lennie because he could not bare the thought of Lenny being murdered out of cruelty.
Some theorize that George could have ran away with Lennie, similar to the.