George took care of Lennie throughout the book, and in events previous to those mentioned in the book. Lennie’s strength caused him trouble, when Lennie did the “Bad Thing” that ended another human being’s life, and at that point, many changes took place. Lennie faced severe punishment of some kind, and the rest of his life would have been anything but enjoyable, regardless of the form of punishment that he received. George could not get Lennie out of this particular predicament by any other means than the one he chose. George was justified in killing Lennie, because death by any other means would have been a miserable and painful experience for both George and Lennie.Lennie broke the neck of Curley’s wife in an attempt to restrain her. His brute strength was displayed throughout the book. He killed a mouse, other small animals, and even a puppy by petting them too hard, and Lennie crushed the bones in Curley’s hand with just one of his hands. This incredible strength makes it easy to believe that he could have killed Curley’s wife unintentionally. Although Lennie was not completely mentally capable, and he was unaware of his own strength, the fact remains that he killed another human.The Herculean yet dull-witted Lennie faced certain punishment for killing an individual. Although there was more than one possibility for punishment, not surprisingly, none of the alternatives were favorable. Had George allowed the others to find Lennie, it is possible that Lennie would have been locked up and remained alone for the rest of his life. However it is more likely that Curley’s anger would have turned into uncontrollable rage upon encountering Lennie during the search. Curly would have done whatever was possible to make Lennie’s death a painful experience, especially after Lennie crushed his hand.
George had been with Lennie though at least one other serious problem similar to this one. He realized that the magnitude of Lennie killing someone was far greater than any other “Bad Thing” that Lennie had done in the past. George could not rid Lennie of this problem. Since all of the alternatives that were possible at the time would have been very painful for both George and Lennie, George decided to get Lennie out of the dilemma the only way that he could, by killing him. George killed Lennie out of love and mercy, to prevent Lennie from going though great suffering at the hands of Curley, and/or imprisonment. “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go astray And leave us nothing but grief and pain for promised joy.” The dream that George and Lennie had concocted, although possibly not the best laid plan, definitely went astray. George had to live his life with much grief and pain, after killing such a close companion as Lennie. Nonetheless George did the right thing, in ending the sorrows of a childlike man with the strength of an animal, that meant no harm to anyone or anything.