Is there a time where Lennie from Of Mice and Men made a "good decision"?

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mdelmuro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lennie does not make many decisions at all in Of Mice and Men, but the one clear decision he does make is to do whatever George tells him and this is a good one.

This is an interesting question because it focuses on the idea of choice. What does it mean to make a choice? Well, for one thing, the person making the choice must be able to make a conscious decision to do something. For the most part, Lennie is incapable of making his own choices. He does what feels good (like petting a rabbit, or a dog, or a lady's hair).But throughout the novel, Lennie makes the choice to obey George.

  • In the opening pages of the book, George tells Lennie to stop drinking so much water to avoid getting sick "like you was last night." Lennie makes a good decision to listen to George here.
  • When Lennie crushes Curly's hand, which is a good decision, he does so because George tells him to.
  • Lennie's effort to stay quiet when being interviewed about the job is a good decision, but was prompted by George's orders.

In fact, the only time Lennie doesn't listen to George, Lennie ends up dying. After meeting Curly's wife, the "tart," George orders Lennie to stay away from her. Lennie tries to stay away from her, but fails. After accidentally snapping Curly's wife's neck, the only end result was going to be his death. Finally, Lennie makes a last good decision right before he dies by listening to George a final time. When George tells Lennie to turn around, Lennie listens. George's shot to the back of Lennie's head gave the man a humane death, not a violent and painful one, which is what would have occurred had Curly caught him.

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Of Mice and Men

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