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In "Of Mice and Men", why is Lennie responsible for the dream's death and how...

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rawana | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 28, 2008 at 7:11 AM via web

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In "Of Mice and Men", why is Lennie responsible for the dream's death and how did it effect George?

lennie is the person who encouraged george about the ranch,but when he died everthing collapsed.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 28, 2008 at 8:06 AM (Answer #1)

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The dream dies when Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife in the barn. Lennie doesn't know his own strength and wants to stroke Curley's wife's hair.  He accidentally jerks her neck back and kills her by accident.   Once George realizes that the woman was a victim of Lennie's strength, which he himself, does not realize how powerful it is, he knows that all the dreams they had together have died.

George makes a dramatic, courageous decision to shoot Lennie, so that his simple-minded, child-like friend with the super human strength does not have to go to prison and face execution.  Or worse, to be lynched right there on the spot by Curley and his men.  

George's life is dramatically changed once he kills Lennie.  Even though the burden of caring for Lennie was sometimes a heavy one, he loved him like a brother.  George will mourn for Lennie, feeling guilty that he could not protect his friend once more from his own strength and simpleness.

 

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mushymommy | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 28, 2008 at 7:21 AM (Answer #2)

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Why is Lennie responsible for the death of their "dream"? And how did Lennie's death affect George? Is this the question?

Well it has been a long time since I read this book however I think the best answer would be that Lennie "killed" their dreams by getting them into trouble. Lennie has forced them to run from the law a couple times and cost them their money and their jobs. Lennie's death affected George because George was responsible for killing Lennie. He felt obligated to be the one to end his life because he felt responsible for helping Lennie run and for the death of the young girl,Curley's wife and the mice.

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