How is Lennie's statement at the end before George shoots him about 'going there now' ironic?John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the dream of the ranch represents the place where the men will have fellowship and respite from conflicts, Lennie's saying "going there now" is ironic; for, Lennie's simple statement has an underlying meaning of which Lennie is unaware: George will soon find him a place of his own where he will have surcease from the worries of working as itinerant worker, surcease from the mundane life with which Lennie has struggled.

And, it is because George saves Lennie from the punishment of murdering Curley's wife and the loss of their dream that his shooting of Lennie is interpreted, also ironically, as an act of love in Steinbeck's novella, "Of Mice and Men."

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George is discussing their dream of owning a farm for the last time. He is using the story to calm Lennie as he has many times before. The irony arises in the fact that George is about to shoot Lennie in the back of the head (which of course Lennie doesn't realise). When Lennie says 'When we gonna do it?' he is referring to getting the farm. George is thinking about the shooting of Lennie. Lennie is encouraging George to get ready to go to the farm. However, his encouragement can be read as encouraging George to shoot him quickly before the men arrive. Lennie is going to a better place - just not with George.