The dream to build a shack with an acre of land, but as they struggle with life, their shot at achieving their dream disappears. Towards the end, George murders Lennie in order to solve problems that Lennie caused throughout the plot. Lennie’s murder is categorized as mercy killing; mercy killing is known as killing a person for the benefit of their own good. This novel makes it clear that mercy is the best way to kill people with disabilities, it takes the cruelty out of killing by making it more kind. George committed mercy killing by shooting Lennie.
Even though George did not feel right in killing his only best friend, he realized that his actions were justified because Lennie was going to die regardless. In the novel, Lennie is known for killing little creatures on accident, the fact that he kills them by showing love and care towards the animal foreshadows the murder of Curley’s wife. Lennie accidently killed Curley’s wife by petting her hair, when George realizes what Lennie has done he realizes that he has to kill Lennie before Curley or the police.
It is because of Lennie’s incapacities that allow mercy killing to be better then capital punishment, since Lennie does not understand the difference from right and wrong. It is for the best to kill someone out of mercy, and put them out of their misery, than to do capital punishment which beats and tortures them to death. Mercy killing may sound like a dreadful thing to do, but would you rather see a loved one suffering, and in misery, or would you rather see them finally resting and happily at peace?
For example, compare Candy’s dog and Lennie. Candy’s dog was already dying slowly; the dog was old, blind and miserable. “I’ll put the old devil out of his misery right now and get it over with. Ain’t nothing left for him. Can’t eat, can’t see, can’t even walk without hurtin’,” says Carlson, a character from the novel that realizes that the dog would be better off by dying then living another painful day. Lennie like the dog would have been tortured or beaten to death once Curley discovered who killed his wife.
Capital punishment is necessary depending on the situation, but mercy killing is the best when it came to people or animals with incapacities. Mercy killing is killing out of love; it takes love and courage to know that an animal or a friend like Lennie is better off dead. George killed his best friend out of love; he loved Lennie so much that he rather kill Lennie himself then to have Curley kill Lennie out of spite.