‘Steinbeck’s novella suggests that Lennie’s death is inevitable.’ Discuss.
T: Lennie’s severe disability means that he can not survive on his own and therefore his death is inevitable.
E: At the beginning of the book George says “You get in trouble,. You do bad things and I got to get you oul.” Lennie is just a child in his mentality. He needs adult supervision. “God, you’re a lot of trouble,” says George. For example when George and Lennie are looking for work on the ranch, George says “jus’ stand there and don’t say nothing”. This shows the reader that Lennie cannot navigate the world without the help of George. Without George, Lennie will always get himself in to trouble. Since there is no guaranty that George will always be there to save Lennie his death is inevitable.
T: Lennie is vulnerable and vulnerable people are more likely to die
E: Lennie has no family because his aunt Clara died and only has George to look after him George explains ” When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin”. Ultimately, however, the world is too harsh and predatory a place to sustain such a relationship.
Disabled during the harsh depression era.
T: Lennie’s death is inevitable because of his need to touch soft things and his lack of understanding of the consequences of his own strength.
E: For example Lennie likes to pet mice but he keeps killing them The mice don’t die accidentally—they die because Lennie “pinched their heads a little” after they bit him. He says, “They was dead—because they was so little,” but their size doesn’t really have anything to do with it. They’re dead because Lennie retaliated. Lennie is not malicious but the consequences of his actions result in death. This is also shown by the death of the puppy Lennie accidently kills his puppy by being too rough with it. When Lennie is holding the dead puppy, he looks at it and says, “You ain’t so little as mice. I didn’t bounce you hard”. Finally this results in the murder of Curley’s wife when Lennie kills her by “just stroking” her hair.
Lennie may only want to be loved and surrounded by soft things, but that’s still too much. In the harsh, Depression-era world of the novel, Lennie simply doesn’t get to have what he wants, because it’s too dangerous. In the end, death is the only