Essay on Mercy Killings in Association with of Mice and Men
Making the decision to kill anything is not easy, especially if the “thing” is your only companion. Carlson shot Candys dog because he was old and wasnt worth anything. George shot Lennie because he had killed the bosss sons wife and would just become worse in his mental condition. George killed Lennie out of desperation. Candys dog was killed out of “mercy.” Though there are many similarities and differences between the two killings, the most prominent is that Lennie was a man, and the dog was an animal.
Candys dog was old, smelly, and toothless. He was barely able to walk or even bark. Carlson told Candy that he was useless and wasnt doing any good to himself or anyone else. Finally after Slim backs Carlson up, Candy gives in and allows Carlson to take his dog out and shoot him in the back of the head. Everyone knew that Carlson was killing Candys dog; the discussion between the two men happened in front of everyone. Candy regretted that he had not shot his own dog, and he told George that later. That separate conversation may have affected what George did to Lennie versus letting the other men do it.
Lennie was a big man who had the mind of a child. Steinbeck implies that the main character had some sort of mental disorder. Lennie had accidentally killed bosss sons wife. He did it because he was scared, not out of spite. The only people who knew about Lennies death were Slim and George. George killed Lennie so the other men coming after him for the murder wouldnt. When George made the decision to kill Lennie, it is possible the conversation with Candy about him not shooting his own dog came back into his mind. Candy had regrets about not doing it himself, and George did not want that. George made the decision to kill his only companion; his only friend. The most important thing about Lennies death was that he was a man, not an animal.