January 29

“Now what ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?”

Discuss the last portion and, actually, all Of Mice and Men here.   Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary, but DO NOT summarize.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #5


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Posted January 29, 2019 by equinson in category Of Mice and Men

27 thoughts on ““Now what ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?”

  1. jane

    The last portion of “Of Mice and Men” was very significant to me. What stuck out to me most was the very end, when George shoots Lennie. It reminded me slightly of “Old Yeller”. In “Old Yeller”, the dog gets rabies, and the older son is forced to shoot the dog. In “Of Mice and Men”, Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife, and since George takes ownership of Lennie, George is forced to shoot Lennie. Lennie is so excited when he hears George tell the story of how they are going to live on a ranch, so excited that he doesn’t notice George’s monotonous voice, or George holding a gun to the back of his neck. I think the ending suited the book well because it reminded me of chapter four. In chapter four, it ends with the same scene, Crooks rubbing liniment on his back, while the book ends at the same location. George and Lennie in the peaceful, grassy place by the water. But the difference is that in the end, Lennie is dead.

    Reply
    1. Kate Ma.

      I agree with your point on how it ended the same as chapter four, and I think that’s very interesting and I haven’t thought of that.

      Reply
  2. Kate Ma.

    These last chapters was a turn in events. I would have never predicted that Lennie would end up being shot by George. But what really surprised me was how George was the one to shoot him, not one of the other guys. This was the opposite of Candy and his dog. After his dog was shot, Candy felt guilty that he wasn’t the one to do it. I think that this had an impact on George. Maybe a reason George decided to do this was so that he knew that Lennie would die happy. If one of the other guys would have shot him, George would have felt guilty that Lennie left frightened and scared, probably looking for George. When George shot him, he knew that Lennie died peacefully thinking about the house they could have had. Steinback really created a tie or comparison to Lennie and the old dog.

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      I agree that George was definitely motivated to kill him himself because Lennie would die happy instead of fearful at the hands of Curley.

      Reply
  3. Emily

    In the final stages of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the readers face the motif of a dog, and the theme of society for a final time. Earlier in the book, the readers read as Candy’s dog was shot in the back of his head for no reason other than he was old. In this nights reading, the readers learned that Lennie was shot in the back of his head with the same exact gun.

    At many times Lennie has been described as having “paws”(p. 63) instead of hands, so it is no surprise that in his final breaths he would once again be compared to a dog. Right before Candy’s dog was shot, Carlson said to Candy, “The way I’d shoot him, he wouldn’t feel nothing. I’d put the gun right there…. Right back the head. He wouldn’t even quiver.”(p. 45) When Lennie was shot Steinbeck writes, “And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.”(p.106) The placement of the gun is crucial because in both times that someone got shot, it was in the back of the head. Steinbeck includes this detail to draw a comparison between Lennie and the dog, as a way to show how people with disabilities are treated in society. He is demonstrating how people have as much respect for a person with a mental disability as a dog.

    Another crucial element is that Candy’s dog and Lennie were both shot with the same exact gun. That gun represents society itself and the way that it has the possibility to disregard eliminate someone in an instance just because they are in the way. Curly’s dog was not useful anymore because he was old. Despite the fact that he was a wonderful sheepdog in his prime, and now he was just an old dog who minded his own business; he was in the way of society. Once he started to smell he was deemed useless and shot. In Lennie’s case, he was shot because of his mental illness. Like Curley’s dog being a good sheepdog, Lennie was incredibly strong person who could do more than his fair share of work on the farm. However, as soon as he accidentally killed Curley’s wife because of his mental illness, he was shot in the same manner as the dog.

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I liked how you connected the dog being shot and Lennie and I agree that the gun placement was a crucial way to compare Lennie to a dog one last time.

      Reply
  4. Laila

    In the last chapter of Of Mice and Men, I was shocked to read that George had ended up shooting Lennie. At first I didn’t like that and was upset. I wondered why George could do that to someone, especially Lennie who has been by his side for so long. After thinking about it more, I realized that George isn’t necessarily the bad guy here. George knew that Lennie was going to get hurt and probably killed anyway. It would be better off for Lennie to die quick and easily, while feeling peaceful, than for him to have died struggling and frightened. It was better for it to have been George than anyone else.
    This is exactly what Candy felt guilty for not doing when Carlson killed his dog. Steinback clearly included the scene about Candy’s dog for a reason, and now we know. The great thing about his writing is that every detail helps move the plot along or has some important theme to it. Steinback wants us to make this connection between Lennie and Candy’s dog

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  5. Zoe

    The last section in Of Mice And Men was incredibly shocking and connected all of the parts in the story. The most important connection I saw was between Lennie’s death and Candy’s dog’s death. Carlson had said it was for the dog’s own good because the dog was only hurting himself and partly others with her stench. In this way, it partly connects to George’s decision to shoot Lennie. All Lennie was doing was affecting himself negatively because if they caught him then he would be killed and if he lived then he would still continue to make these mistakes which hurts himself incredibly. However, they’re different because in this situation Lennie is also hurting George. This is why I believe even though he was awfully kind and prevented loneliness, he was constantly hurting George and George had no option but to kill him and be free to live at last without fear instead of eventually being dragged down along with him. This was definitely the most shocking event in the book, but it has made this book one of my favorites.

    Reply
    1. angelicac1

      I agree with you. After reading so many shocking events, those events somehow made this book one of my favorites.

      Reply
  6. johnh1

    At the beginning of the chapters we read there was foreshadowing towards later events that happen. At the very beginning of these chapters, Lennie accidentally kills his Puppy. I believe this foreshadows to two things. He Talks about how he thought the Puppy was big enough not to die. It did, however, and shortly after, Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife. I think the dog was a metaphor for her. Lennie was just petting the dog and he thought it wouldn’t die but it wasn’t as strong as he had thought. The same is true with Curley’s wife. The dog also can refer to Lennie as the idea of a dog as in previous chapters. When the dog dies it could also mean that Lennie will die because he was characterized as a dog in earlier chapters.

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  7. stephaniec

    In this chapter, we saw foreshadowing being used by the author. The old and stinky dog that Candy did not want to kill, foreshadowed the death of Lennie. Although George had stuck by Lennie through almost all the awful things he had done, George knew he needed to kill Lennie in order to set both Lennie and himself free from the consequences of Lennie’s actions.

    Reply
  8. Casey

    The last chapters, Lennie underestimates his strength and ends up killing his puppy and Curly’s wife. The men on the ranch decide that Lennie must be lynched. Lennie runs away to the place where the book began. George follows him and tells him to look at the lake and talk about his dream of having a farm with rabbits with George. Then, George shoots Lennie in the back of the head. He does this because Lennie is his best friend. He knew that the men would have lynched Lennie and done everything they could have done to toucher him. George didn’t want Lennie to suffer so he took killed Lennie himself, in the quickest and painless way he could. This goes back to the theme of leaving things even if they mean a lot to you. George loved Lennie like his own brother, and out of that love he chose to kill Lennie to prevent anyone from really hurting him.

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  9. Brishti

    The ending in “Of Mice and Men” was very shocking, and while it seems strange, it actually wraps up all of the events of the whole book, while also getting me to wonder the aftermath of the whole situation. I wondered how George would live after this. There is a very fine line between freedom and confinement, and I wonder whether George would feel free after he kills Lennie, or if he would feel more confined within guilt of his actions. The book also made me think about friendship. Many characters in the book don’t have actual friends. Candy is alone because he is old and missing a hand. Crooks isn’t accepted because he’s black. Curley’s wife is out of place because she is a woman. Curley himself is generally disliked among the others. The only two people who have an actual bond are George and Lennie, and several characters have pointed this out. The fact that George is the one to kill Lennie is a symbol for the end of a good friendship. At first, most people would think that it is horrible that George killed his best friend, especially when you consider his protective nature and how he wouldn’t let any of the others touch him. But, if you stop to think about it, it’s actually better for George to kill Lennie than have anyone else. This same thought appeared when Candy wishes that he would have killed his own dog. Right before he pulled the trigger, he soothed Lennie down to make him calm and peaceful. He made Lennie think of freedom, while he told him to look across the river. Since George gave Lennie hope of freedom right before he died, it begs the question: is death actually a form of freedom? George promises Lennie that they will get their freedom, right before shooting him in the back of his neck, ending his life.

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  10. josepha4

    In the last chapter of Of Mice and Men, Lennie was killed by George. Throughout the novel one theme stuck out the most to me, and that is the death of innocent things. We see it first with the dog and then Lennie himself. There are many other examples of this in the novel. When Lennie kills the dog he clearly has a moral dilemma. For example, ” Lennie looked at it for a long time, and then he put out his huge hand and stroked it, stroked it clear from one end to the other”… “Why do you got to get killed?…”He picked up the pup and hurled it from him… He rocked himself back and forth in his sorrow”. Lennie is struggling with himself wondering why he kills things so easily. When Lennie kills Curley’s wife the group of men are going to track him down and kill him. In order to spare Lennie pain George decides to do it himself. Before he pulls the trigger he tells Lennie to look in the distance and imagine the perfect place with the bunnies and their own farm. Finally, George tells Lennie that he was never angry at him. Then,he takes aim and pulls the trigger, killing another “innocent” creature.”The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.” This shows another moral dilemma. Innocent things dying throughout the book were leading up to the death of Lennie and was very interesting writing by John Steinbeck.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      You’re right, a lot of innocent people and animals die in this novella. Maybe Steinbeck is doing this to show his readers that although people may be kindhearted, they don’t always deserve what they get. Society doesn’t save them just because they are nice. In order to stay alive in this world, you have to be useful, and if you think about it Lennie nor Candy’s dog served a true purpose to society, even if they did mean a lot to those who loved them.

      Reply
  11. Hannah Pitkofsky

    As the novella of Of Mice and Men comes to an end, Steinbeck surprises us one last time with a plot twist that no one would ever see coming. At the very end of the novella, we witness George shooting and killing his friend, Lennie, after Lennie killed Curley’s wife. Being Lennie’s friend for so long, George assumed “ownership” over Lennie and refused to pay the price for Lennie’s actions. Therefore, he made the choice on his own to kill his best friend.

    This shows us the power of our actions and how they impact others and how they also impact yourself. If Lennie hadn’t killed Curley’s wife, then George wouldn’t have felt the need to kill him. If Lennie hadn’t made that one choice, he might still have been alive. However, he did kill Curley’s wife, leading through the chain of events that would eventually lead to his own death. However, the interesting thing that Steinbeck does over and over in the novella is he starts and ends the scene in the same matter that it began in. The same applied to the story itself. The novella ends with George and Lennie on the bank of a river, however, in this case, Lennie is dead and the blood is on George’s hands.

    Reply
  12. MadiR

    In the finally chapters tonight, Steinbeck using amazing imagery and great foreshadowing as the novella comes to a close. “A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically.”(p. 99) After Lennie killed Curley’s wife he went to his and George’s meeting place. There the author starts to wrap the book up. Explaining the beautiful paradise in great detail. I noticed that the the reader feels almost as if the sense of security and comfort in paradise is lost after the snake is killed. This symbol of the Heron killing the snake foreshadows Lennie’s death. The snake that was introduced to us in the beginning of the novella is now dead and so is Lennie. Lennie died and he did not expect it just like the snake. This relates back to the symbol of animals throughout the novella.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I never thought about the snake resembling Lennie’s death. However, I do see how that makes sense and how the symbol of animals keeps reoccurring.

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  13. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout the last chapters of Of Mice and Men, multiple shocking events occurred. However the most outrageous of all these events was when George shot Lennie in the back of his head. After I read this I was in complete and utter shock. Before Lennie was killed by George he sees two “images” of people/animals with his own voice. I think that this was Lennie’s conscience talking to him through things he loves or respects. They both were basically telling him that George won’t stay with him and will not always be by his side. However, Lennie refused to listen and soon enough there George was, with him in the woods. But, Lennie’s conscience was right because George did not come back for Lennie, he came back to put an end to his acts of terror. I think Lennie should have listened to his Aunt Clara and the gigantic rabbit. If he did run off to the mountains far away, he would have been able to live and no longer cause harm to any other people or animals. Lennie always had faith and trust in George, however, at this point, I think George lost his trust in Lennie. He goes on to say that Lennie is nuts and has no clue why he does the cruel acts without thinking correctly. The text states, “He’s nuts, Slim. He never done this to be mean.” I think George just didn’t want Lennie to cause anymore harm to anything. And the only way for him to prevent this was by killing him.
    Another thing I noticed throughout this section of Of Mice and Men is that George was looking at the big picture when he killed Lennie. I think he thought that if he killed Lennie, he would be preventing a bunch of other people from getting killed or injured by the clutches of him. Instead of saving a crazy mans life just so he can live his dream of tending the rabbits, George would rather have helped society as a whole. It is understandable why George did this. He had to do what he had to do for the well being of not just Lennie and himself but for everyone as a whole. Another thing I appreciated about Lennie’s death is that George was able to do it himself instead of letting someone cruel such as Curly kill him. Instead of Lennie dying in an awful state of mind, he allowed Lennie to die thinking of something peaceful and a dream of his that he longs for. This was the right thing because Lennie would’ve been so frightened if he were getting attacked, and this way he died with someone he trusted as well. Therefore, so much happened in this chapter and all these events left me shocked about the ending of this novel.

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  14. Mikayla Friedman

    The ending of Of Mice and Men truly took me by surprise. I never would have guessed that the novela would end with George shooting Lennie. I understood why Steinbeck had Lennie kill Curly’s wife, and I actually thought that that event was crucial to the story. It showed Lennie’s blind devotion to George, and to his dreams of owning a ranch of his own. However, George killing Lennie was a total surprise to me. I think George felt that he had to be the one to kill Lennie, and that he couldn’t watch if anyone else did. I still don’t fully understand why George couldn’t try and save Lennie from the men, but he obviously felt there was no way out of the mess Lennie had created for himself. George knew Lennie would be defeated one way or another, so he wanted Lennie to die painlessly and quickly at the hands of his companion rather than be shot or lynched by his enemies.

    This is the complete opposite of what occurred with Candy and his dog. Candy may have felt that he should have been the one to shoot his dog, his companion in life, but he didn’t make that heard. He did object to Carlson shooting his dog a few times, but eventually he caved and Carlson shot him. Candy wasn’t there for his ‘friend’ in his last moments of life, but George was. Maybe after seeing this happen, George was even more obligated to shoot Lennie himself. He didn’t want Lennie to die alone, like Candy’s dog did, even if that meant being the one to shoot him.

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  15. Sophie

    Throughout Of Mice and Men, Lennie has been compared to animals a lot. The reason for that is because of the way Lennie died. It had a relation to the way Candy’s dog was shot. Candy’s dog was not shot by Candy himself, but by Carlson. George did not want to feel the guilt that Candy felt – the feeling of not being there for your best friends last moments on earth. Therefore, George was sure to be the last person that Lennie spoke to before he was shot.
    Another reason why George was the man to kill Lennie is because it was out of pure love for Lennie. All throughout the novella so far, Lennie has been just like George’s little brother. By default, when George found out that Lennie was going to be lynched by the men, he was deeply saddened. Since George must have figured that there was no way out of the situation, George took matters into his own hands. By speaking soothing words in Lennie’s ear in a location that was the most peaceful, it made Lennie’s last few moments on earth feel happy and relaxed. Furthermore, the angle that George shot him at caused a quick and painless death. By George doing all of this, it prevented a public lynching which would have led to a humiliating, long, slow, and painful death.

    Reply
  16. angelicac1

    John Steinbeck definitely had us in for a surprise as he ended Of Mice and Men with several last shocking events. It was so sudden to see Lennie cause so much harm with just his hands. He killed his pup and Curley’s wife with his own hands because he never realized the amount of strength he actually has. Actions can cause consequences which led to George having to shoot Lennie. In a previous blog, I talked about how Lennie’s innocence protects himself, but his innocence is dangerous to others. In this case, Lennie’s innocence blinded him from seeing out dangerous he really is which led to the death of Curley’s wife.

    Reply
    1. trinityt

      I agreed. Lennie doesn’t know how much strength he actually has and doesn’t really know how to control it. As a result of that, he caused troubles, which has serious consequences. His innocence protected himself from some of the consequences, but it’s dangerous for those around him. As Lennie’s actions has consequences, it led to him being shot by George.

      Reply
  17. trinityt

    The ending of the novel Of Mice and Men really had me shook. I never expected that Lennie would get shot and died, especially shot by George.

    Near the end and throughout the novel, the author, Steinbeck, uses imagery, and foreshadowing as hints to Lennie’s death. For example, in previous chapters, Lennie was refer to as a dog. When Lennie died, he was shot by George. Who else or what animal was also killed by getting shot at? Candy’s old dog. “‘God awmighty, that dog stinks…'”(p.44). Candy’s old dog was killed because it was old and stinks. Plus, Candy’s dog was shot by the back of the head, just like how Lennie was shot at the back of his head by George. “‘…If you was to take him out and shoot him right in the back of the head-‘”(p.45).

    Another example is that in the beginning of the novel, there was a water snake at the river where George and Lennie was first introduced to the readers. Near the end of the novel, it shows a short scene where the water snake was eaten by a heron. Lennie also died there at the river like the water snake did.

    These two examples are part of the examples that shows the connection between Lennie and animals, especially a dog since he was refer to as a dog often in the novel. Steinbeck uses the deaths of animals to foreshadows Lennie’s death at the end of the novel. The foreshadowing in this novel was one of the reasons that made this novel one of my favorite books this year. The ending really had me surprised. I’m sad that Lennie had to died, but it was the best for him and everyone else.

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  18. maxwellw

    The ending for Of Mice and Men was sad but in a way as satisfying as one could ask for. Lennie, who was bound to be brought to death in a much harsher way by the men of the ranch. Once again a theme of the casual violence of nature – the stork devouring the water snake – and we see Lennie’s nonchalant integration into this atmosphere as he stoops and drinks with his lips like a thirsty dog. The content of Lennie’s thoughts, and of Lennie and George’s eventual conversation, also mirrors the opening. Lennie repeats the child-like, ritualistic cycle of separation and reconciliation that has seemingly marked his relationship with George for years. Once again he hears George complain that he could live it up if not for Lennie; once again he offers to leave George and live in the hills; once again he gets George to tell him about their rabbit utopia. In a way, this scene also relates to Candy’s old dog, who was put out of its misery rather than left to live and suffer.

    Reply
  19. jaclynl

    When finishing the novel, Of Mice and Men, there were a lot of things that took me by surprise. First off, I never would’ve expected George to kill Lennie. Of course, Lennie had made some awful and shocking mistakes as the book ended, but this was not something I saw coming. When thinking about it, though, this may relate back to Candy’s dog that was shot a few sections ago. Although it was a miserable decision to make, killing the old dog was the right thing to do in the end, since letting it live any longer would cause it so many more problems and pain. With Lennie, I see the same idea. Either way, because of the accidental crime he committed, it was almost inevitable for Lennie to be killed. It was either George that had to do something or Lennie would be tracked down and killed by a group of men who had ill intent for him. With both the old dog and Lennie, the fast way, although painful to their loved ones, was the only way to put them out of their misery.

    Reply

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