Earlier on in the novella, Candy feels deep regret for not being the one to end his dog’s life and he tells George, “’I oughtta shot that dog myself…
I shouldn’t oughtta let no stranger shoot my dog’” (Steinbeck 61).
A true friendship is one in which friends care deeply enough to anticipate one another’s needs and are willing to put their friend’s needs before their own.
Their mutual love enables them to make sacrifices only to protect each other.
Candy and his dog were lifelong friends and companions, as were Lennie and George.
Candy’s regret makes a lasting impression and Georges recognizes that he too cannot live letting anyone else take Lennie’s life.Shooting Lennie in the gut would cause he him to slowly bleed to death, ensuring a long, painful death. However, upon further consideration, George realizes that Lennie is incapable of living on his own and fending for himself in jail and will not last.Even if Curley is not to succeed in killing Lennie in this gruesome manner, the other likely outcome is that Lennie is sentenced and put in jail for potentially a lifetime. Either outcome would result in a miserable and slow death for Lennie, and George could not allow this to happen to his best friend.In the story, the first thing he gets in trouble for is in Weed.“Well, he seen this Candy was disappointed that he wouldn’t get to work at a little vegetable patch and live off the land. Lennie is like a child, he needs to be taken care of.Nonetheless, George sees that Lennie is unable to learn from his mistakes and fears the pattern is going to continue and that he is unable to change Lennie.George feels justified in killing Lennie because he knows that in the long run he would be able to spare many other lives and prevent Lennie from all the pain and anguish from the remorse Lennie feels after his aggressions.Lennie has killed many mice, a pup, and finally a woman.Although Lennie may not want to kill any other living beings, it is in his nature to become aggressive and angry when frustrated.George’s decision to kill his best friend is to prevent a horrific and undeserved fate that awaits Lennie unless there is some intervention.He does not want Lennie to be killed by Curley or sent to jail.