How does George feel after killing Lennie?

In Of Mice and Men, George feels anguish after killing Lennie, but he knows that killing Lennie was the most humane thing to do. In killing Lennie, George loses both a friend and a representation of his dreams.

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When analyzing how George feels in the aftermath of Lennie's death, it's important to consider both Lennie's significance in George's life and the loss George experiences once Lennie is gone.

In the story, George looks after Lennie, who is large and hardworking but suffers from an unspecified intellectual disability....

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When analyzing how George feels in the aftermath of Lennie's death, it's important to consider both Lennie's significance in George's life and the loss George experiences once Lennie is gone.

In the story, George looks after Lennie, who is large and hardworking but suffers from an unspecified intellectual disability. In addition to taking on the role of Lennie's guardian, however, George takes on the role of Lennie's best friend. The two characters complement each other. George makes up for what Lennie lacks mentally, and Lennie makes up for what George lacks physically. In this way, George and Lennie have found in each other something that remains elusive to their fellow migrant workers: a family.

Lennie not only serves as George's constant companion, but also represents a sense of innocent optimism. George envisions a future with Lennie in which they would own a farm, live off the abundance of the land, and answer to no one. Though such a dream might seem far-fetched to someone with as much life experience as George, Lennie's pure belief in the possibility of their dream proves infectious, allowing George to abandon his cynicism and embrace their dream (if only temporarily).

As Lennie was George's best friend and embodied his sense of hope for the future, it's clear that George is devastated in wake of Lennie's death. In addition to his grief, it is also likely that George harbors guilt over his inability to protect his innocent friend from the cruelty of the world. It is evident that George does not kill Lennie in a malicious manner; in fact, he does so benevolently, considering the intense cruelty of the death that the mob had planned for Lennie. Nevertheless, one can reason that George experiences deep sadness now that the embodiment of his hopes and dreams is gone.

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