Is Lennie Justified In Of Mice And Men

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When people see or hear the word “murder,” their minds will automatically transition to wrong, inhumane, cruel, vicious, diabolical, evil, or words with negative connotation. This transitional thinking shows the human morality, their belief that to annihilate life is wrong. However, there are exceptions to this belief. An exception can be found in the novella Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, when George Milton kills his mentally disabled friend, Lennie Small. In this case, Lennie’s death was justified because of the reasons behind the kill. Many readers believe that Lennie’s death was unjustified, for Lennie didn’t deserve the fate of dying in George’s hands. On the other hand, if George had not pulled the trigger, Lennie would…show more content…
Admittedly, as sympathetic and understanding as readers are for Lennie, Lennie is still a danger to other lives. In many instances in the book, Lennie accidentally kills many lives but does not realize the significance of his mistakes. Lennie is a man with the mind of a child with an unequal match of formidable strength, hence committing murder without meaning to do so. In the scene when Lennie kills Curley’s wife, he has the same slightly panicked reaction as when he killed the rat and puppy earlier in the book. Readers then realize that Lennie doesn’t understand the difference between killing an animal and murdering a human, therefore putting other lives at risk. There was an instance where Crooks was in danger himself, the result of him taunting Lennie that George might never come back for Lennie. Readers can sense the danger that Crooks was facing when “Suddenly Lennie’s eyes centered and grew quiet, and mad. He stood up and walked dangerously towards Crooks. ‘Who hurt George?’ he demanded” (Steinbeck 73). Lennie’s childish anger in this scene proves how he is able to put others in danger without having a malicious reason to. Another scene was when Lennie panicked and accidentally broke Curley’s wife’s neck, due to his strength. Many situations like these can happen again, resulting in Lennie murdering more lives. George only obliterated this danger by killing Lennie. Sometimes a sacrifice has to be made for the benefit and safety of others, and in this case it was the sacrifice of
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