Of Mice and Men: who desides who lives or dies?
Et manus for en muntlig oppgave.
Karakter: 5+ (grunnkurs)
Mats: Who is entitled to decide over life and death? Are Carlzon and George’s actions right? What ar the similarities and the differences between there actions?
Helén: First I will like to say that this is no easy subject! And it was difficult to find the answer to because there can be so many, and no single answer is more correct than the other. This is our answer not yours and you are entitled to have your own opinion.
Helén: We feel that no one has the right to decide who lives or dies; no one should have the right to play God. And even though we all can agree that by law no one is allowed to take another persons life, peoples actions beg the difference.
Mats: We frown a pond simple murder, but some times we can look through our fingers on mercy killings. So what if the old guy got a little to much morphine, he would have been dead before morning anyway… and by doing this I saved him the pain. Is this okay behaviour? At some occasions this is accepted, we understand the motive but not the action.
Helén: When a dog gets old and ill we put it to sleep, manly because it’s the human thing to do, we don’t want it to suffer. I understand that and I would do the same to my own dog if it got so ill that that would be the only, in lack of a better phrase, dignified way for her to go. But I would not do it if I had another and better solution. The dog can’t speak for it self and therefore it can’t tell you if that is what it wants, it’s all up to you and the veterinarian, and you have to decide if the dog will pull through or if this is the only way to go. If somebody had done the same to a human being, it would classify as calculated murder. But I still press the fact that sometimes putting an animal to sleep is the only human and right thing to do, but I can never be the one to give the last needle or shot!!
Mats: Speaking of murder, many countries practises death penalty. This is the same as the mafia’s an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. A murderer will never have to live with his/her crime, they get off easy; it’s the people left behind that’s got to live with it. The victims and the convict’s family’s are the ones to suffer. And you won’t get closure by watching the guilty person hang, and it won’t bring your loved one back…. Nothing can ever bring them back.Then wouldn’t life in prison without chance to parole be the right thing for a murderer, an isolated sell with only the wall to look at and his/her memories as the only companion? That would be much harder sentence to give anyone than the death penalty ever will be!
Helén: Now, are Carlzon and George’s actions wrong or right? Carlzon shoot a dog that was old, but what he said, before he pulled the trigger if you may, shocked me the most. He said: it’s no good to you or it self anymore. He justified the killing of an old dog with that phrase… he didn’t put it to sleep because it was in pain; he put it to sleep because it couldn’t pull his own wait by working anymore. Carlzon never stopped to consider the animal a friend to its owner. He only saw the dog as a working animal that couldn’t perform anymore. And the owner, poor chap, caved in and gave him permission to “end the dogs suffering”. I do not see Carlzons actions as right because in our modern day society a dog can be there just as a companion and nothing more, but in the 1920s a dog needed to work for its food. And in that situation I can actually see the motive and understand why he did what he did. But I still can’t fully agree with the statement that putting this dog to sleep was the right thing to do.
Mats: when it comes to George you might say he preformed a mercy killing of some sorts. He pulled the trigger on Lennie because he knew that Curley would torture Lennie before he shot him. He wanted Lennie to die without noticing instead of, by lynching. There’s no excuse for murder but there can be a reason for murder. George knew that Curley would take the law in his own hands; he wouldn’t await a judge’s decision.
Helén: If they had, they would find that Lennie would in fact not be hanged, and that’s because you can’t hang a lunatic. And even though Lennie wasn’t a lunatic, he was at the mental age of about 5 years and could therefore not be hold accountable for his own actions. But was George’s actions right?
Mats: No, they were not, it’s never right to kill a person. But the reason is clear he wanted Lennie to feel as little of it as possible. And we can all agree on the fact that he managed so much.
Helén: But what about the similarities between the two “killings”?
Mats: Well, you may take a quick look on both killings and say they were both mercy killings, but the similarities ends there, if you don’t count the fact that both the dog and Lennie was killed by a shot in the neck………
Helén: very execution like if you ask me!!
Mats: yeah, but that’s not the point. There are actually more differences then similarities. The dog was killed because it couldn’t pull its wait around the farm anymore; Lennie was killed because George wanted him to go without the pain that Curley would cause him before his suffering was finally over. As stupid as that may sound, he killed Lennie because he wanted to protect him from the awful things Curley would do if he could lay his hands on him.
Helén: as we said in the beginning, this is our answer to this tuff subject, not yours. And we hope that we found a good answer that represents our look on this subject in a fairly serious and interesting way.
Mats: Thank you for your time.
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