Does George have anything to do with the theme of death in Of Mice And Men?

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Of Mice and Men, the theme of death is presented as instances where love kills, beginning with Lennie and ending with George. Lennie loves to pet soft things, as is exhibited in his hiding the mouse in his pocket. He had captured it and petted it, but he pet too hard, killing the mouse. Still he kept it, petting its soft fur. In the same way, he wanted to feel the softness of the hair of Curley’s wife, at her invitation. His touch was too hard, and Curley’s wife tried to pull away. Lennie panicked and grabbed hold, breaking her neck. Neither death was through Lennie’s malice, only his love for soft things. Candy also must allow his dog to be killed out of love, not wanting him to become a burden on others or to suffer from the infirmities of old age. With George, it is his love for Lennie that forced him to kill him. He knew that Lennie had at last done something that they could not escape from. Lennie would always do something like this, so rather than let the law capture Lennie and execute him, George decided that, out of love, he would kill his friend himself.