Did George do the right thing when he shot Lennie in Of Mice and Men?

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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George must have thought he was doing the right thing or he wouldn't have done it. All the men in the lynch mob must have thought they intended to do the right thing in planning to kill Lennie themselves. George was actually part of the lynch mob, only he got to Lennie first because he knew where Lennie would be hiding. He knew because he had told him where to hide if he got into trouble. What the men in the lynch mob all thought was that Lennie had tried to rape Curley's wife in the barn and had killed her, either accidentally or deliberately, to keep her from screaming for help. That was...

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rachellopez | Student

George believed that shooting Lennie was the right thing. Lennie did not understand what he had done and his intentions were not bad, but because what Lennie had done was so serious he would not have been forgiven. George shot Lennie to keep him from what would have been a much worse situation. Lennie would have been beaten and hated by everyone at the ranch without understanding why. That would have caused Lennie so much more pain than the death George gave him.

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