"Of Mice and Men" - Mercy Killing

Essay by reneerussellHigh School, 10th grade April 2006

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"Never you mind. A guy got to sometimes. . ." Slim's words scream out a man's need to do what he has to at one time or another in life. George felt this way with Lennie. He felt that he was the one that had to take Lennie's life. In John Steinbeck's, "Of Mice and Men", George's actions justified mercy killing as necessary in certain situations.

George killing Lennie was the right thing to do. George felt compassion for Lennie. They had a brotherhood bond that could not be broken. George tried his best to protect others from Lennie as well as, Lennie from himself. Lennie was a difficult charge with a mental capacity of a child. His poor decisions were problematic over and over again. Lennie was incapable of controlling his actions and also knowing right from wrong.

George was an honest and genuine person. With an empathetic heart, George felt compelled to take care of Lennie in every way.

George felt he was in this alone, especially since Lennie's aunt had passed away. There wasn't much acceptance in the town for Lennie and George's relationship. George was consistently bailing Lennie out of one situation or another, which proved to be a full time job. Lennie's last indiscretion was, in essence, "the straw that broke the camel's back."

The death of Curly's wife, by Lennie's hand, sent the ranch up in arms. The ranch formed a posse to find Lennie and kill him. George could not bare the thought of any one else taking Lennie's life but himself. He felt mercy upon Lennie. He did not want Lennie to witness any harm come to him. He found Lennie at the "secret" hiding spot. They met up next to the river and George spoke of their...