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.
George clearly can sense Curley’s anger and vindictive nature about Lennie killing his wife.
It is quite apparent that Curley wants justice and revenge and is determined to make Lennie suffer: “Curley’s face reddened. I’m gonna shoot the guts outta that big bastard myself” (Steinbeck 98). ’ And he tries to reassure himself, ‘Maybe they’ll lock ‘im up and be nice to ‘im” (Steinbeck 94).
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.Despite Lennie’s remorse, he does not grasp the severity and the consequences of his actions.This is not so much due to Lennie’s slowness but more because of George’s protective nature, preventing Lennie from ever having to face any consequences.That is why George stayed with him the whole way, because he cared about Lennie and his safety.Therefore, George really didn’t want to hurt him and why he sticks with him: even if he was an annoyance to him. 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 novella, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, George killing Lennie is a merciful kill to save others from Lennie’s unintentional acts of aggression, to spare Lennie from suffering a cruel death, and instead ensuring a peaceful and quick departure one that will cause George the least regrets.George begins to see a pattern of aggression coming from Lennie and wants to put it to an end because Lennie is hurting too many others unintentionally and he sees Lennie is quick to frustrate and panic and is lacking in the ability to control his violent reactions.George killed Lennie because of his getting in too much trouble and people wanting to hurt him. George only cared about Lennie’s safety and that no one, including himself, would ever mess with him again.