Choices are made by everyone at some point in life. Choices can be complicated or as simple as yes or no. Decisions can be difficult or easy to make. Some choices are impulsive while some require a lot of premeditation to make. In the novella, Of Mice and Men, written by George Steinbeck, George chose to kill his best friend Lennie. Lennie and George were friends for a long time. They both worked at a farm together. Lennie was retarded and George took care of him and watched over him. Throughout the book Lennie displays blind loyalty to George and their hope of a better life.
George is a very dynamic character through the book while Lennie is constant displaying incredible amounts of physical strength and being dim witted. Killing Lennie was no easy task for George. This important choice was a choice that affected others, affected George, and had to be motivated to be made. George was motivated to kill his friend, Lennie. Lennie had always loved to pet soft things. He would often kill mice just by petting them. Lennie had also killed a puppy on accident. These incidents occurred out of his innocence.
He was unaware of his own strength and killed animals because of it. Lennie killed Curley’s wife in an effort to simply pet her soft hair. A mob of people from the farm chased Lennie and George from the farm in an effort to kill Lennie. Curley said he wanted to kill Lennie in the most painful way possible. George and Lennie effectively escaped their pursuit for a brief minute. In this moment George tried to calm Lennie down by reminding him of their shared dream of a better life. This involved them owning their own farm and tending rabbits for Lennie to pet.
This undoubtedly brought Lennie to a calm place. In that moment when people began to close in, George killed Lennie by shooting him in the back of the head. This act was influenced by the impending doom Lennie had coming. The other men from the farm that had chased Lennie would have killed him much less peacefully. If George did not do it, Curley would have done it much less humanely. While this reason for killing Lennie may seem to be merciful, what if George had killed him for selfish gain? George was held back by Lennie as long as he had been accompanying him.
This was not the first time they had gotten in trouble with the law. Lennie also kept George from getting any type of romantic relationship or even a stable job. Is it possible George was motivated by his own selfish inclinations? Several factors influenced George to kill Lennie. George’s choice to kill Lennie was motivated by others but also affected him. It is reasonable to believe that George looked out for both Lennie and his own interest in deciding what how he must confront the situation mentioned earlier. Killing Lennie affected George’s life in depth.
In the entire book George and Lennie are depicted as being together. George would have to adjust to being slightly more lonesome for the time being. Lennie was a companion to George but he was also a hindrance. George had said how Lennie keeps him from doing many things. George was upset at this and said “If I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want. Why, I could stay in a cathouse all night.
I could eat any place I want, hotel or any place, and order any damn thing I could think of. An’ I could do all that every damn month. Get a gallon of whisky, or set in a pool room and play cards or shoot pool. ” Lennie knelt and looked over the fire at the angry George. And Lennie’s face was drawn in with terror. “An’ whatta I got,” George went on furiously. “I got you! You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get. Jus’ keep me shovin’ all over the country all the time. ” Here George acts as if he doesn’t want Lennie so it would be natural to assume that with Lennie dead George would be happy.
On the contrary George is disappointed at the loss of his friend as he does not want to live an isolationist life like the other members of the ranch. The choice George made affected him negatively from his own viewpoint but also allowed him to live a less tethered lifestyle. The adverse effects of this choice affected George the most. In addition to having affected George, this choice also affected others in the ranch. Lennie was the one most affected. Obviously Lennie died because of George’s decision to kill him. What could have happened had an alternate ending taken place?
Instead of killing Lennie, George could have escaped and found other work. This scenario was spelled out in the beginning of the book when it says how the duo had left a ranch in Weed for undisclosed reasons. There is no reason why Lennie could have been spared in this fashion. Perhaps George realized the cycle that could have proceeded where they escape to another ranch only to find Lennie falls into the same pattern where they end up repeating the same steps over and over. In that case George’s decision was still the right one. Lennie did not understand what death was in its full sense.
When he killed animals he did not care they were dead but wanted them for comfort. In the same way George killed Lennie while he was in a comforted state. Lennie most likely wanted it that way. When Lennie was killed, their dream of the ranch was also killed. This deeply hurt those like Candy and Crooks who emotionally invested in this dream that had become theirs as well. Candy insisted that George goes ahead and buys a farm anyway. The represented freedom and lack of prejudice for Candy and Crooks. When the idea was gone, they were very upset as their dreams of a better life did the same.
George’s decision to kill Lennie affected others as well as him. The important choice to kill Lennie was a choice that was motivated by others, affected George and affected others. The decision was motivated by Curley’s desire for revenge. George will be forced to live an isolationist life just like the other members of the ranch in the Great Depression. Crooks and Candy’s dream of an improved life was crushed with George’s choice. Everyone has to make important choices in their life and they will usually be for the better and the worse.