In "Of Mice and Men," Lennie's death at the end mirrors the killing of Candy's dog. Explain how in detail.
Towards the beginning of the novella, Carlson complains about Candy's old, useless dog, who is depicted as more of a nuisance than a help around the ranch. Candy has owned the dog since it was a puppy and is the only person on the farm who wants the dog to live. However, Carlson argues that he would be doing the old dog a favor because it can barely eat food and is waiting to die. Candy's dog is also defenseless and cannot protect itself from those willing to shoot it. Similarly, Lennie's death at the end of the novella mirrors how Candy's dog dies.
Similar to Candy's dog, Lennie is frowned upon by the other men on the ranch and is viewed as an outcast. Some men on the farm feel that Lennie is a distraction and purposely avoid him. Lennie is also defenseless and relies on George to take care of him. After Lennie accidentally kills Curley's wife, he hides by the riverbank and waits for George. Similar to how Carlson killed Candy's dog to put it out of its misery, George shoots Lennie in the back of the head as a mercy killing. George knows that Curley's lynch mob will brutally murder Lennie and he feels that it is best to end Lennie's life before the mob captures him. Both Candy's dog and Lennie die relatively peaceful deaths and do not suffer while dying.
At the end of the novel, George kills Lennie in much the same way as Carlson kills Candy's dog. The dog is seen as useless and smelly, therefore it was seen as more of a nuisance to Carlson and the others in the bunk house. The men argue that the dog is miserable and in pain, which convinces Candy to let Carlson shoot the dog. After the dog is killed, however, Candy tells George of his regret for letting someone else shoot his dog. The dog was Candy's responsibility, and Candy feels he let the dog down by not taking its life himself.
George is determined not to let this happen to him. George knows that Lennie will be killed by Curley and the other men if they find him, and George wants to protect Lennie from the others. George sees Lennie as his responsibility, and George feels that he must take action to look after Lennie, even if this action leads to Lennie's death.
Lennie's death also reflects the killing of Candy's dog in the actual manner of the shooting. George shoots Lennie in the back of the head, just where Carlson told Candy he would shoot the dog, promising that the dog would die instantly and would feel no pain. George wants this "pain-free" death for his friend.