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Who Killed Lennie Small?

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WHO KILLED LENNIE SMALL? In this essay I will explore the factors that contribute to Lennies, arguably inevitable, death. The key 'suspects' are George, Lennie, Curly, his wife and the 1930's American society and way of life for the itinerant worker of that time. I blame the 1930's society and climate because all of the above people are a part of society and link back to it and are affected by the social and economic situation. Despite the fact that George fired the bullet, that killed Lennie, it is too easy to blame him and to superficial a reason because it does not look into the reasons that influenced him the shoot his only companion. Another argument that points the blame at George is that he "should have kept a closer eye on Lennie", but I argue that George needs a life of his own; and can't possibly supervise and oversee the actions of Lennie. In my opinion George does a very good job of caring for Lennie and often pulled him out of any situations that were potentially dangerous to him. This can be seen when George returns home from the 'whore house' to find Lennie in Crooks room, and tried to get him out, "You hadn't ought to be in here". I think that it was Lennies dangerously unpredictable violence that led to his death in some ways. ...read more.


She would try to get pity from him when he obediently rejected her presence by saying, "how awful lonely" she gets. She even tries to find an opinion they both share like, "Curley aint a nice fella." Even though she was painfully lonely she was aware of how dangerous Lennie was because she knew what happened to Curleys hand that night. She knew that Lennies 'paws' could develop into iron fists. She was also aware of how simple and childish he was because whenever she spoke to him he would just talk about the 'rabbits' and his 'Lil patch of alfalfa.' She should not have let him touch her hair. It was this touch that led to her death as he clenched on to it, panicked, and then broke her neck. If she hadn't of died, I don't think that Lennie would have either because it was this death too many, that I think led to his unavoidable early death. The reason that Curley's wife was so lonely was because Curley had paid her so little attention, and it was his short fuse that deterred any of the ranch workers communicating with her either. Curley is another figure of violence on the ranch, being notoriously 'handy' and I think that in his opinion there was not enough space on the ranch for the two of them. When he first met George and Lennie he didn't like them and Candy warned Lennie that "Curleys like a lot of little guys, he don' like big guys." ...read more.


The dream is the only glimmer of hope for these men as can be seen with Candy who has been there for years. In a land where friendship is rare and almost novel, the only thing they have in common is the hope of achieving the American Dream. In a society where there is a lot of prejudice, Lennie is merely another misfit. There is Crooks because he's black, Curley's wife because she is the only woman on the ranch and Lennie because he is big and very dense. No one has time for themselves in a place where the "whole damn world is scared of each other," so no one would have time for Lennie. None of the workers except for George would make an effort to look deeper into him and to gain a deeper understanding as to the way he thought. It was much easier to dismiss him as being as 'dumb as a wedge.' It is for these reasons that I think society needs to take the greatest blame, and even though other characters can be held responsible to a certain extent, they are mostly only in their environments because of the way society treated them and only interact with others as they do because of the hard ships society has put them in. In a world where people had 'pain tightened lips' and where the general outlook was bleak and pessimistic, there was never a chance for the admirably optimistic Lennie, because after all,'Nobody never gets to heaven.' Sam O'Brien 10JJ ...read more.

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