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Why George Shot Lennie

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To Whom It May Concern;

As you may or may not know, I recently shot Lennie Small in the back of his head, instantly killing him. Most people would argue that what I did was terribly wrong and irrational. However, I believe that what I did was justified, and there was a method to my madness…

It first must be understood, that I simply did not have many other choices. As a result of Lennie killing Curley’s wife, it had seemed as though everyone on the farm (besides Slim and I) were after Lennie to shoot him down. How am I, as Lennie’s only friend, supposed to let these other people do such a thing to him? I knew what I had to do, and it was to put Lennie out of his misery, and not to allow the Ranch’s residents to blatantly murder him. It was better for me to kill Lennie, because I had meant no harm towards him, and I only wanted to help him by putting him in a better place. These other people who wanted to shoot him only wanted to do it for revenge; to “make him pay.”

If I had not killed Lennie, the two of us would just have been on the run again for the rest of our lives. This is similar to what happened in Weed, and all cases prior. I knew that we could not continue fleeing forever, as this would put Lennie and me under a lot of stress, (more than I have already been in…) and eventually Lennie would realize that our “dream” would never come true, and it was all just a story. See, in addition to not wanting the Ranch’s inhabitants to have murdered Lennie, I also did not want Lennie to come to the realization that he was living an ill-fated life, that was leading him and me, to nowhere.

As a result of this situation, I have realized a lot about life. The most important realization that I have come to, is that that in some scenarios; it is a hell of a lot easier to be dead than to have to live a life in someone like Lennie’s shoes. As humans, we all lead different lives. What people do not understand, is that some have it harder than others. Nobody takes the time to comprehend the struggles that another man faces, and all the while, only worry about their own. One time when Lennie thought I was mad at him, I replied, “No… I’m not mad… Guys like us… They ain’t got nobody in the worl’ that gives a hoot in hell about ‘em…” (Steinbeck, 104) Lennie exclaimed back, “But not us. Tell about us now.” (Steinbeck, 104) I tried to show him how nobody in this world cares about anyone else, but because of his innocence, it was near-damned impossible.

I have even learned through this situation that people do not lead loyal lives. Just as how Curley’s wife was not loyal to him; I was not loyal to Lennie. Essentially, I was the only person that Lennie had; his best friend and his compass



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