The end – Chapter 6
Discuss the thoughts and feelings in the passage
and how the author’s choices have created them.
Also, who kills Lennie?
Is it George?
Lennie himself? or the wider environment?
Steinbeck writes in a way that leaves things unsaid but that provokes
the reader to make the connections.
This final chapter has a sense of despair and hopelessness; the strength
and importance of friendships and the power of connection are evident in the
way the two men are speaking. The characters seem to accepted their fate and
have an almost depressing stillness, without actually saying anything to
confirm what was happening.
Lennie is clearly scared and is having problems processing the magnitude
of what has happened. George can see the hopelessness of the situation and with
this has come the realisation that all he aspired to and dreamed of was an
Through the sense of calm that George brings, there seemed to be feeling
of security for Lennie. He is still seeking acceptance and fears George
leaving; of being alone because of this bad thing.
For George, the hopelessness of the situation; understanding that the dream
would never be any more than that; it will never amount to anything. He will
always be the migrant worker he was. The fact was that nothing will change,
sadness and futility run through the passage.
The idea of achieving the dream seems to have become just too far out of
reach. It is clear that the feelings between the characters run deep. The
dialogue is written is such a way that it is like they are finishing each
other’s sentences, they know each other so well that a lot actually goes
unspoken, like there is no need for the words to be said.
While George pulled the trigger to physically kill Lennie; there is so
much more to the death of Lennie. The realisation that the relationship between
them was never going to benefit either of them; the fact that Lennie was going
to suffer a slow brutal reprimand at the hands of Curly; and that George in his
own way was trying to protect his friend.
Lennie’s simple innocence implies that even in death Lennie does not
anticipate his fate. He is blissfully living in that moment. For George, it is
so much harder. The loss of Lennie and the events surrounding that will be with
Any hope George had of a better life died with Lennie; the sense of
hopelessness and opportunity slipping away comes when he sits down on the sand
after he has thrown the gun away; he is calm, looks down at his hand, throws
the gun and simply sits, and waits; awaits that he is sure will happen.
With the single shot to Lennie’s neck it is so much more than Lennie
that has died.