In Ch. 6 Of Mice and Men, what method is Steinbeck using to make the point killing with compassion is different than murder?I'm writing about euthanasia and I'm struggling with what method...

In Ch. 6 Of Mice and Men, what method is Steinbeck using to make the point killing with compassion is different than murder?

I'm writing about euthanasia and I'm struggling with what method Steinbeck uses to make his point. Is he making Lennie seem like a animal needing to be put down to end his suffering like Candy's dog, so it's ok. What would I call that?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men,  George kills his best friend Lennie by shooting him in the back of the head.  Before he does this, George asks Lennie to imagine the ranch they plan to buy in the future.  Lennie is happy to imagine such a pleasant picture, and that is when George kills his friend out of mercy.  He does not want Curly to kill Lennie in cruel ways such as a gut shot, and George knows that Lennie did not mean to hurt Curley's wife.  Lennie does not know his own strength and thus, will  continue his pattern of petting soft things he is attracted to until something goes wrong and Lennie kills it. George does plan this killing as if it were a cold murder, but the motive is entirely different.  You would call this a mercy killing because George is trying to save his friend from a cruel death. Steinbeck is contrasting the innocence of Lennie who does not understand his mistake to the determination of Curley to be cruel.

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