What Happened at the End of Mice and Men: Explained

The ending of the book Of Mice and Men, and specifically what happened at the end of mice and men, has been a topic of discussion and debate since its publication in 1937. In the story’s conclusion, George has to make a difficult decision – to end Lennie’s life himself rather than letting him suffer at the hands of Curley.

George reaffirms their dream of owning their own farm together before ultimately taking Lennie’s life. It is a powerful and emotional ending to a classic story that has left readers contemplating its meaning for decades.

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The Ending Explained

At the end of Mice and Men, George shoots Lennie in the back of the head to spare him from Curley’s wrath. This decision was made to protect Lennie, who had accidentally killed Curley’s wife.

Before shooting Lennie, George recites their shared dream of owning a farm together one final time. This is a heartbreaking scene that demonstrates the pain and responsibility that can come with friendship.

According to SparkNotes and Bing, this ending ultimately allowed Lennie to go out on his own terms, and showcases the harsh realities of life and the sacrifices we sometimes have to make for those we care about. It’s a devastating moment that marks the end of their shared dream of owning a farm, but also highlights the deep bond between George and Lennie.

A picture of George and Lennie - what happened at the end of mice and men

The Significance of the Ending

In the novel, “Of Mice and Men,” George ultimately decides to shoot Lennie in the back of the head to save him from further pain and suffering. This decision highlights the theme of sacrifice and the lengths that people would go through to protect their loved ones.

Despite the heartbreak of losing Lennie, George takes comfort in the fact that he spared his friend from a worse fate at the hands of Curley. The ending of the novel showcases the harsh realities of life and the sacrifices we sometimes have to make for those we care about.

It is evident that the ending of “Of Mice and Men” is indeed a heartbreaking moment that emphasizes the theme of sacrifice. It serves as the conclusion to a remarkable and cherished bond between George and Lennie.

Despite the sorrow and pain that came with the decision, George thought it was necessary to end Lennie’s suffering and protect him from Curley’s wrath. In the end, the novel highlights the theme of sacrifice and demonstrates the pain and responsibility that comes with true friendship.

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Why Was the Ending So Controversial?

The ending of Mice and Men has been a subject of much debate among readers and critics alike. George’s decision to shoot Lennie has divided readers into different camps, with some believing that it was an act of love and mercy, while others argue that it was an act of selfishness and betrayal.

However, what is undeniable is the emotional impact of the scene, which takes the reader on a journey of heartbreak and loss. The ending of Mice and Men is a testament to Steinbeck’s mastery of storytelling, as he creates a powerful and unforgettable image of friendship, sacrifice, and the cost of human aspirations.

George’s decision to shoot Lennie was a difficult one, driven by a deep love for his friend and a desire to spare him from the inevitable pain and suffering that would come from being caught by Curley. The scene is an exploration of the human condition, where the individual must make tough choices that have far-reaching consequences for themselves and others.

It invites the reader to reflect on what they would do in such a situation and whether they could bear the burden of such an act.

The ending of Mice and Men is controversial because it challenges readers’ moral and ethical convictions, placing them in a position where they must confront the reality of life and the choices that come with it. Steinbeck’s characters are not mere archetypes but complex individuals who face difficult situations and must make choices that are not always easy.

The ending of Mice and Men is a reflection of this complexity, where there are no easy answers or solutions.

In conclusion, the ending of Mice and Men is controversial because it raises questions about the nature of friendship, love, betrayal, and the challenges that accompany life. It is a testament to Steinbeck’s ability to create characters that are not only relatable but also thought-provoking.

The ending of Mice and Men may be heartbreaking, but it is also a reminder of the power of literature to move us, to challenge us, and to inspire us to be better human beings.

The Author’s Intention

John Steinbeck’s intention for the ending of Mice and Men was to convey the harsh realities of life and the sacrifices we sometimes have to make for those we care about. He aimed to create a tragic and heartbreaking ending that demonstrated the pain and responsibility that comes with friendship.

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As the story reaches its conclusion, George makes the difficult decision to end Lennie’s life himself in order to spare him from being hurt by Curley. Reciting their dream of owning a farm together one last time, George shoots Lennie in the back of the head, resulting in a devastating moment that marks the end of their shared dream and showcases the fragility of life.

Despite the controversial nature of George’s actions, they demonstrate the lengths one may go to protect a loved one from harm, resulting in a powerful and emotional ending to Steinbeck’s novel.

A picture of John Steinbeck - what happened at the end of mice and men

The Impact of the Ending

The ending of Mice and Men has left a lasting emotional impact on readers and has been widely discussed and studied in various institutions. George’s decision to end Lennie’s life himself has sparked debates about mercy killings and self-interest.

The ending has also inspired adaptations such as films and stage productions.

Based on the search results, the ending of Mice and Men has been described as heartbreaking and devastating. It showcases the harsh realities of life and the sacrifices we make for those we care about.

The loss of Lennie is not only a character loss but a symbolic loss as well, marking the end of a remarkable and cherished bond. Despite the tragic outcome, the bond between George and Lennie remained unbreakable until the very end, leaving a lasting emotional impact on readers.

The ending has become a valuable topic of study and discussion, sparking debates about difficult decisions and the consequences of our actions.

Conclusion

The ending of Mice and Men is a heart-wrenching event that depicts the sacrifices that individuals make for their loved ones. Author John Steinbeck, with his incredible storytelling prowess, portrays the fondness and loyalty shared between Lennie and George and the weight of responsibility that comes with friendship.

George’s decision to end Lennie’s life was a selfless and necessary sacrifice to protect and spare him from further pain and suffering. Despite the controversies surrounding his actions, it was an ultimate and heartbreaking decision that allowed Lennie to go out on his own terms, while reminiscing about their cherished dream of owning a farm together.

Their friendship and aspirations remained unbreakable until the very end, leaving a lasting impact on the readers’ minds.

According to the Sparknotes website, Steinbeck’s choice to conclude the novel with Lennie’s death is what instills a sorrowful atmosphere, portraying not only a character loss but also a symbolic loss. The death of Lennie also remains an intensely debated topic amongst readers, with some contending that George’s actions were a mercy killing while others argue that he acted with self-interest in mind and rid himself of the burden that Lennie posed.

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However, the pivotal moment in the book still remains the same, and it showcases the harsh realities of life and the sacrifices we sometimes have to make for those we care about. The concluding scene is a poignant reminder that life can be fickle and unpredictable, especially when it comes to our loved ones.

References

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does mice and men end the way it does?

The tragic ending of this novel is inevitable because of the impossibility of happiness for Lennie and George set up by the author at the beginning.

Is the ending Of Mice and Men sad?

It's absolutely heartbreaking, and equally inevitable. Lenny doesn't mean to hurt people or animals, but he always does.

What did Lennie do at the end of Of Mice and Men?

In the end of the book, Lennie, who is large and dumb, accidently kills the farmer's son's wife. He goes into hiding and the men all go looking to kill Lennie. George ends up being the one that kills him. George had very few options after Lennie killed Curly's wife.

Why does George shoot Lennie?

George, a main character in the novel shoots his best friend, Lennie, after Lennie accidentally kills a woman. The woman's husband, Curley, has a fit of rage and wants to kill Lennie, who has ran away.

What is the significance of the ending in of mice and men?

The way Of Mice and Men ends symbolizes the disillusion of the dreams Lennie and George have of getting a farm. It is said throughout the story that the migrant workers are always dreaming of having land, but none of them ever achieve it.

Why did George shoot Lennie in the back of the head?

George spares Lennie from Curley's wrath by shooting Lennie in the back of the head after reciting their shared dream of owning a farm one final time.

What does Lennie represent in of mice and men?

Lennie is symbolic of the archetypal 'wise fool,' who is mentally inferior but able to reveal the best and the worst of others.

What happens at the end of Lennie and George's friendship?

Because George is forced to kill his friend himself, Lennie's death is not only the death of a single vulnerable person, but also the destruction of a rare and idealized friendship.

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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