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Lennie & Euthanasia

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Hale Neitzschman

Mrs. Schmitt

English I (D)

29 January 2016

Was it Okay?

Euthanasia is a huge controversial topic in the United States of America today. In the novella , Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, George and Lennie, the two main characters, are in search for work during the time of the Great Depression. Lennie, a somewhat mentally disabled man, always seems to find trouble whenever him and George find work. Lennie finally took it too far when he killed Curley’s wife. George, Lennie’s best friend, decided to euthanize Lennie because he found that it was his responsibility to do so and the right thing to do. George did the right thing in killing Lennie, so Lennie would not suffer any longer and so George could finally have a could life.

One reason why it was the right thing for George to kill Lennie was because Curley was going to make Lennie suffer as much as he possibly could, and George was not going to let that happen. Curley states, “I’m gonna shoot the guts outta that big bastard myself” (Steinbeck 98). If Curley would have done this, Lennie would have died a slow and sufferable death. George knew this was going to happen so he decided to end Lennie’s life as painlessly as possible. This is a form of non-voluntary euthanasia, but it was better for Lennie to die peacefully than die suffering. In source B, it says, “Hopeless and unbearable suffering must be present” (Source B). Source B talks about non-voluntary of euthanasia for new borns, but it can also be accounted for in the situation of Lennie and George. George knew that Lennie was going to suffer from Curley shooting him in the gut, so he euthanized him to protect him from suffering. In source A, it says, “the person is mentally disturbed in such a way that they should be protected from themselves” (Source A). In this source, it talks about what is necessary to euthanize someone with non-voluntary euthanasia. George euthanized Lennie to protect Lennie from dying a terrible death, hence the quote, protecting from himself. George, according to the quote, euthanized Lennie legally and out of love. This is only one of the reasons why George did the right thing to kill Lennie.

Another reason why George did the right thing in killing Lennie was because, Lennie kept on making George run away because he would always find someway to screw up what they are doing. When Lennie and George was in the town of Weed, they had a nice job on a farm. Everything was going okay, but Lennie saw a woman wearing a soft red dress and felt compelled to touch it. Lennie, being Lennie, was stroking the dress too hard and made the girl feel scared, so her first thought was to scream and run away. Lennie has the tendency to squeeze things as tight as he can when something tries to run away from him, so this made the girl in Weed situation a lot worse. When she tried to run away he grabbed the dress and would not let go until the dress ripped and she got away. George knows that Lennie did not mean any harm to the girl, but the rest of the town thought Lennie wanted to rape her, so they chased the two out of town. George says to Slim about the situation in Weed, “ He just scared her. I’d be scared too if he grabbed me. But he never hurt her. He jus’ wanted to touch that red dress” (Steinbeck 42). Lennie meant no harm, but made George and his life so much harder. George angrily states, “I could get along so easy and so nice if I didn’t have you on my tail. I could live so easy and maybe have a girl” (Steinbeck 7). George and Lennie flee to another farm, get a nice steady job, and finally settle down. A couple months go by and everything with George and Lennie is going

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