Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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In Of Mice and Men, who deserves to be punished for Lennie's death?

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One could argue that George deserves to be punished for Lennie's death because he is ultimately the person who pulls the trigger and kills his friend. However, this argument is flawed because George's decision to shoot his friend is done out of mercy. George understands that Curley and his gang would torture and brutally kill Lennie. Before Curley has the opportunity to shoot Lennie in the stomach or torture him, George takes matters into his own hands by killing his friend. In a court of law, George would be convicted and punished for Lennie's murder. In addition to shooting his friend, George is also responsible for allowing Lennie to be in the precarious situation. George does not make the smart decision to immediately leave the ranch after meeting Curley and his wife. He should have trusted his intuition and left the ranch before Lennie had an opportunity to cause any trouble.

One could also argue that Curley's wife would deserve to be punished because she refuses to obey Lennie and...

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