An Essay answering a question about guilt and blame from the book "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

Essay by HrvatskaHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2006

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3. People often want to blame someone when "things go wrong." People

spend hours in court trying to find the guilty person. So, how would you

explain the death of Curley's wife? Who was irresponsible? In our time

people like Lennie are put to death similar acts. Argue who is

responsible and explain how events took such a tragic turn.

"As you would blame others, blame yourself; as you would forgive yourself, forgive others." - Chinese Proverb. This quote accurately depicts an ideal situation involving blaming others and forgiving others. When things go wrong people often make false accusations to get out of the way of the blame. Curley's wife's death was not the complete fault of Lennie. As is also true, in the court system today Lennie would have a certain sentence facing charges of manslaughter, even though the actions brought forth from Lennie were not intended or able to be stopped alone.

The main act of irresponsibility was George and Curley's wife. George understands Lennie's mental disabilities and was wrong in leaving him alone, regardless of what he told him to do. Also, Curley's wife was aware Lennie was not "right in the head" and basically provoked him into her own death. Of course, Curley's wife did not know that this would escalate to the degree it did but knowing his disabilities should not have allowed him to touch her air, or even hang out with him.

In our time, many people like Lennie have been to blame for tragic acts, but should not have been do to there disabilities. Laws are in act and should be enforced in a political justice manner when dealing with the unordinary citizens. Without a doubt, all of us are equal and I am not discriminating anyone with challenges like Lennie, but to be honest they just need a little bit more help and care. If George was there watching Lennie like he should have been none of this would have happened.

These events took a tragic turn when George left Lennie unsupervised. It is true that Lennie can somewhat defend for himself, but is not the mental capacity of most others. Lennie started to grab her hair, which was Curley's wife fault, and just got carried away. It is and odd way to die, but not knowing Lennie's strength, she shouldn't have been so open with him. George's bullet piercing Lennie's skull does not justify anything. It is totally wrong for George to do that regardless of what he thought Curley might do or what authority might do. George should have testified with Lennie saying that his mentally capacity was the reason and Lennie would have got off with some sort of minority charge. George's actions ended Lennie's life that he had left to live.

In end, George and Curley's wife were at blame of Lennie's actions because George was not there to supervise Lennie, and Curley's wife should not have been so open to him. Also, George shooting Lennie does not justify anyone or anything because he is ending a life that is left to live. If George would have let Lennie be, try to protect him, they probably would still be with each other like they should be. Lennie did not know his own strength, now his own actions inflicted on someone else bypassing his control looking for forgiveness. As in the proverb, "as you would forgive yourself, forgive others."


This is an grade "A" paper on the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It is free to use and is very well written. I have read the book thorougly and recieved an "A" in an honors level class. Thanks and hope it helps!