How did Lennie kill the puppy?

Lennie kills the puppy on accident by playing too roughly with it. Excited and unaware of his own strength, Lennie bounces the newborn puppy too hard.

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In the story, Lennie is depicted as a large, innocent man with some sort of intellectual disability. He travels throughout the western United States with his close friend George looking for work. One of Lennie's favorite activities is to pet soft things and animals, like mice and velvet. Towards the...

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In the story, Lennie is depicted as a large, innocent man with some sort of intellectual disability. He travels throughout the western United States with his close friend George looking for work. One of Lennie's favorite activities is to pet soft things and animals, like mice and velvet. Towards the beginning of the story, George chastises Lennie for carrying a dead mouse in his pocket. George realizes that carrying a dead mouse is unhealthy, but Lennie—who enjoys petting the soft mouse—cannot understand why George wants him to get rid of it. Lennie cannot control his impulse to touch soft objects and attempts to deceive George by hiding the mouse. Eventually, George takes the dead mouse from Lennie and throws it into the brush.

Later in the story, George and Lennie arrive at a ranch in Soledad, and Slim allows Lennie to keep one of his newborn puppies. Lennie is obsessed with the puppy and spends all of his leisure time holding, petting, and playing with it. Lennie even refuses to allow the puppy to sleep with its mother, and George has to tell him to put the puppy down.

Unfortunately, like he was with the mice, Lennie is too rough with the puppy and accidentally kills it. According to Lennie's comments in chapter 5, he killed the puppy by bouncing it too hard. When Lennie speaks to the dead puppy, he says,

Why do you got to get killed? You ain’t so little as mice. I didn’t bounce you hard.

In conclusion, Lennie killed the puppy Slim gave him by being too rough with it while he was playing. This incident demonstrates Lennie's inability to judge his strength and foreshadows the later tragedy with Curley's wife.

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