In Of Mice and Men, would you consider George to be innocent or guilty on Lennie's death?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would call what George did a mercy killing and consider him innocent of murder. What he did is referred to as applying situational ethics, in which a person decides what the most ethical path is based on circumstances, not moral absolutes. Using the same situational ethics, it is not unethical to lie to the Nazi Gestapo about hiding a Jew.

George acts as he does after Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife, because he knows that Curley is planning a slow, cruel death for Lennie. Curley has been resentful of Lennie since he arrived at the ranch for being bigger and stronger and for besting him in...

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lsumner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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emfitz3 | Student

I think George was guilty of lennies death, because he made lennie believe that he truly wanted the best for him, which is so mean to do to a mentally challenged person. Lennie didn't know any better, so he listens to George and savors every word of his.  But George shot him instead of trying to get him to a safe place, away from the people looking for him. I don't think a true friend would do that, so George is definitely guilty for the death of lennie.

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