Of Mice and Men Chapter 6 Summary

     The final chapter begins with Lennie waiting in the brush for George to arrive. His anxious mood is contrasted with the peaceful surroundings. Lennie becomes so agitated that he hallucinates. First, he sees his Aunt Clara, who has been dead for years, scolding him for doing bad things. Then she disappears and a giant rabbit appears before Lennie's eyes, telling him that George is going to be mad at him and he's going to beat him up.

     Finally, George emerges and comforts Lennie. George tells Lennie that what he has done doesn't matter and that they can still fulfill their dream. George hears the sound of men in the distance. He has Lennie look across the river so he can almost see it and once again George describes the little farm that they will someday own. As he describes the farm, George takes Carlson's gun out of his jacket. He tells Lennie that he's not mad and that they're going to go to that farm really soon, and then he shoots Lennie right in the back of the head. Lennie dies instantly, just as Candy's dog did.

     The men come up and see Lennie lying dead on the ground. Slim understands what George did because he knows about their history together, but the other men want to know what happened. George lies and says that Lennie had stolen the gun, so George had to wrestle it away from him and then shot him in self defense. This story isn't terribly plausible considering the gun shot is in the back of his head, but the men don't question it.

     George finally realizes that the loss of his best friend also means the loss of his dream. He will have to live with knowing he killed Lennie for the rest of his life. This death parallels the death of Candy's dog and was also foreshadowed by the escalating deaths of the mouse, the puppy, and Curley's wife. It also ties together the theme of the need for companionship because without Lennie George is no different from any of the other workers who travel alone and have no one to care about them.

     This brief novel touches upon many important topics including the plight of the migrant workers during the Great Depression, racism and sexism during that time as well as the lack of care or facilities for the disabled.

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