Does George have the right to kill Lennie? Legally? What about ethically? How does Steinbeck's treatment of Lennie's murder affect the way the reader interprets the event? What does George's action suggest about justice within the play and in the world as whole?
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You have a lot of questions here. I can give you a general statement though. I think it would be difficult to claim Lennie's death to be unjustified considering the alternative of letting Curley get at Lennie. Either Lennie would be brutally murdered or, at the very least, he would be locked in a cage,
"If we could keep Curley in, we might, But Curley's gonna want to shoot 'im. Curley's still mad about his hand. An' s'pose they lock him up an' strap him down and put him in a cage. That ain't no good, George." ch 5
George had to shoot Lennie because he loved him.