Who was responsible for Lennie's death in the novella Of Mice of Men? 

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several characters could be considered responsible for Lennie's death, but in my opinion, Curley's wife is responsible. When Lennie is talking with Curley's wife, he tells her that he likes to pet nice things. Curley's wife listens as Lennie tells her how he wishes that he could pet a piece of velvet. She then willingly allows Lennie to stroke her hair. However, Lennie does not know his own strength and begins to tighten his grip when she tells him to stop. Curley's wife then begins to scream and Lennie panics. Unable to stop Curley's wife from screaming, Lennie jerks his arm and accidentally breaks her neck. Lennie then realizes he is in trouble and flees to the meeting spot by the river. Had Curley's wife been more discerning, she would have never let Lennie touch her hair, and George would have never had to spare Lennie from Curley's angry mob by shooting him.