Topic: Question 12

Throughout he novel, we have witnessed George's devotion to, love for, and constant protection of, Lennie. The accidental killing of Curley's wife means that despite everything George has done to protect Lennie, his worst fears about what might happen to his best friend have inevitably occurred.

a. Go through the novel and find some of the clues that tell us a terrible event such as this was inevitable. Refer to George and Lennie's conversations, George's repeated warnings to Lennie, George's cautious behaviour, and Lennie's behaviour and love of soft things.

b. Compare George's shooting Lennie to the shooting of Candy's dog. What are the key similarities? Explain what Candy means when he says: "I ought to have shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to have let anyone else shoot my dog."

c. Considering his obvious love for, and loyalty to, Lennie, why does George deliberately kill him? What do you think of George after he kills Lennie? Is he as good a friend to Lennie as you previously thought? (Take into consideration what Slim tells him after the shooting: "Never you mind. A guy got to sometimes".)

d. In light of what happens to Lennie, explain what you think George meant in Chapter 1 when he said, "I wish I could put you in a cage with about a million mice an' let you have fun."