An Ending of “Of Mice and Men”, Essay Example
Of mice and men is a strong touching tale of two immigrant friends George and Lennie. The story occurs during the 1930s great economic depression in the United States of America and it addresses the real hopes and dreams of American workers. Steinbeck’s story upholds symbolically the lives of the poor and jobless to a higher level. The climax of this story is extremely shocking and sad when George shoots Lennie to protect him (French, 1994, 103-156).
The novel talks about workers George and Lennie who are moving across the country looking for a job. George is very intelligent, cynical and irresolute man while Lennie is huge and very strong but has mental disability that makes him behave like a child. The two men love each other very much and treat one another as brothers. Lennie extremely loves touching soft things until one time he touched the woman’s dress and he was accused of rape. That is the reason they decided to flee to another town to hide from the penalty of rape. Even on their journey George discovers that Lennie still has a dead mouse in his pocket enjoying the touch of smooth fur.
Fortunately they get a job and begin to work at a ranch owned by Curley. While working at the ranch they start sharing their dream of wanting to own their own piece of land and begin farming for themselves. Lennie proposed rabbit rearing which was could give him real satisfaction (French, 1994, 103-156). Since Lennie loves touching and stroking soft things he gets attracted to the hair of Curley’s wife and finally he pets the hair but the wife gets scared and begins to scream when she feels Lennie’s strength. Lennie gets scarred as well and in the struggle he unintentionally breaks her neck and she dies. As a result of this incident Lennie runs away to the meeting place which they agreed upon with George at the beginning of the novel to be meeting incase any of them got into trouble.
When the farmhands found the body of Curley’s wife they formed a lynch mob to look for Lennie and punish him. George his friend knowing that Lennie has committed such an awful crime and is to suffer painfully before the hands of the lynch mob he goes to meet him so that he can save him. George meets Lennie at the very place they agreed to meet; the very place they camped the night prior to coming to the ranch (French, 1994, 103-156). The two friends sit together and George decides to unfold the dream of their bright future which they will not share together. After telling such a good story he then shoots Lennie in cold blood in the back of the head so that his friend can evade the inevitable painful death of the lynch mob.
George killed this friend believing that this death will be painless and happy compared to the inevitable death of the lynch mob. Immediately after George kills Lennie he meets Curley, Slim, and Carlson. Slim being intelligent he realized that George has killed Lennie out of love and he holds George and takes him away slowly consoling him while Curley and Carlson stares at them not knowing the reason of the bad moods of the two men.
This ending is the saddest given that the dream of the despondent is not achieved however the friendship they portray is a good lesson to many who live in alienation and desperation.
French, Warren G. John Steinbeck’s Fiction Revisited. N Y: Twayne, 1994.
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