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International Journal of Social Sciences and Artistic Innovations
Frequency: Quarterly Published by lIKll

Open Access Research Paper
 IJSSAI 2022/12
Vol.2, Iss.4 : 34-40

Mercy Killing or Murder: A Moral Dilemma Regarding the Death of Lennie in Of Mice and Men

Ting-Xuan Shen1 and Ya-huei Wang2*

1Department of Applied Foreign Languages, Chung-Shan Medical University, 40201, Taiwan
2Department of Medical Education, Chung-Shan Medical University Hospital, 402, Taiwan

This study aims to analyze the death of Lennie Small, a tragic character in Of Mice and Men, through the lens of deontology and consequentialism. People have always paid the most attention to the ending of Of Mice and Men: Should George have killed Lennie or not? This study focuses on the factors that led to George’s decision to end Lennie’s life, using ethical perspectives to justify George’s decision to shoot Lennie to death. With the shooting of Lennie as an example, we intend to demonstrate that, although the action and the outcome may be the same from the deontological perspective and the consequential perspective, the motivation for the shooting is different because of different moral philosophies. Consequentialism provides a clear benchmark to abide by; in contrast, although deontology claims that people are obliged to follow the supreme principle of morality, without clear guidance, people may confront contradictory obligations and, hence, face a dilemma.

Keywords:  Consequentialism; Deontology; Obligation; Mercy killing, Moral dilemma

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Received:October 03, 2022; Revised:October 24, 2022; Accepted:November 03, 2022; Published:December 30, 2022
*Corresponding author; e-mail:

Citation:Shen, T.X., & Wang, Y.H.(2022). Mercy Killing or Murder: A Moral Dilemma Regarding the Death of Lennie in Of Mice and Men. International Journal of Social Sciences and Artistic Innovations, 2(4), 34-40.

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Copyright: © 2022  The Author(s). Published with license by IIKII, Singapore. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.