Give reasons that both suport and oppose George's shooting of Lennie in "Of Mice and Men."Regarding George's actions at the end of the novel, make two columns.  One gives reasons supporting his...

Give reasons that both suport and oppose George's shooting of Lennie in "Of Mice and Men."

Regarding George's actions at the end of the novel, make two columns.  One gives reasons supporting his action, with the second opposing it

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The act in question would be shooting Lennie.  It is one of the most discussed elements in the novel.  I think that the case that lays itself out as to why George "had to do" what he did would revolve around the idea of protecting Lennie from the mob led by Curley and Carlson.  George understood that this group did not seek to find Lennie and ask him what happened.  He understood that they meant to kill him.  In this light, George had to assume the role of protectorate because of his commitment to take care of Lennie.  Leaving him to the devices of the mob would not be taking care of him.  Another rationale that could go in the column detailing support of his actions would be that it is much more compassionate for George to kill him with Lennie's dream of the farm intact and in his mind as he dies.  There is a humanism present in the taking of Lennie's life.  George repeats that he is not angry with him, and almost comforts him in giving him some dignity before he dies.  On the other side of the ledger, the reasons in the column that critiques George's action might involve that if George was loyal to Lennie, he would help him escape out of Salinas and go back to life on the road.  George's actions in helping him escape would help both of them resist the mob and would go very in proving that George and Lennie are inseparable, representing the family unit to the other.  Another line of logic that would critique George's actions would involve suggesting how easy it is for George to be rid of Lennie.  His actions could be seen through a lens of self interest and expediency.  In this, I think that some criticism could be offered.

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