Would George really be better off without Lennie? Explain what evidence there is that George would/would not be different if he were on his own.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is a paradox that George is not better off without Lennie, a mentally disabled man who constantly gets them into trouble. Before shooting Lennie, George tells his friend,

Guys like us got no fambly. They make a little stake and then they blow it. They ain't got nobody in the worl' that gives a hoot in hell about em---

Yet, earlier in anger George declares,

 ...if I was alone I could live so easy.  I could get a job an'work, an'no trouble..and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty buck and go into town and get whatever I want 

While George realizes the problems attached to Lennie, he also knows that meaning in life depends upon sharing with others. 

"George said softly,"He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would."  Lennie is the keeper of the dream of owning land and have a place together, their own American Dream.  Without the innocence of Lennie who does not doubt the reality of the dream, George is adrift, isolated amidst the misfits of society. 

The title is pivotal in responding to the question. "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," for as Burns continues,"...Man's dominion/has broken Nature's social union." The relationship of George and Lennie goes awry when Nature's social union is broken and George, sadly, is alone.

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Of Mice and Men

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