Cori Craig 3* Heine September 29, 2011 Murder: To Save One from Misery Most people say they would do anything for their best friend, so would it be justified for one go as far as killing their best friend for their well being? In the novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, the protagonist, George, went to the extreme of killing his closest friend, Lennie, to save him from a frightful future.
This extermination was condoned because George killed Lennie with good intentions, Lennie was better off dead, and if he didn’t do it, Lennie would have ended up miserable. In the Webster’s College Dictionary, murder is defined as the malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another. George killing Lennie was not a malicious act; it was an act of desperation. Although, one could argue Lennie’s murder was premeditated, it was a conscious decision made out of love.
George just wanted to help his best friend, even if it meant losing a part of himself, for Lennie truly was George’s other half. After the shooting, George died in a sense, but if he felt there another way to save Lennie, he wouldn’t have killed him. George is also justified for shooting Lennie because he wanted to keep him from experiencing the pain that will follow the consequences of his actions.
Curley, whose wife was accidentally killed by Lennie, vociferated “I’m gonna shoot the guts out that big bastard…” (98).In the past, shooting someone in the guts was a torturous way of killing someone; therefore, Lennie died a more ‘peaceful’ death by being shot by George. George also knows that even if they were to escape, it would be just a matter of time before Lennie had another “accident” and killed someone else. He knows he can’t protect him from society, as he also can’t protect society from Lennie.
From George’s perspective, it is an act of amity. I think George did the right shooting Lennie.If he didn’t shoot him, Lennie would have suffered his whole life. He would have been locked up, not been able to see George, or feel anything soft anymore; therefore, he would have been miserable. In conclusion, George was justified in shooting Lennie because he did it out of love, Lennie was better off dead, and if he didn’t do it, Lennie would have been miserable. From one perspective, killing is never acceptable.
However, real life is seldom black and white, and sometimes love requires a shift from absolute morality to relative.