Hey! So I thought I would do something different today, as a sort of one off thing. Normally I do some sort of list thing, so I wanted to do a longer written piece. In English last year I did a debate and continuing on the ‘What if’ theme from a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would share my debate speech with you. It is a ‘What if’ thing, because it sort of speaks about an alternative ending. Bear in mind that this is the closing statement for my team. On the topic Of Mice and Men, my team is opposing the statement: “This house believes that George should have shot himself after shooting Lennie.”
To further extend a previous point, Steinbeck did not want George to die. Steinbeck created the characters; therefore he understood the characters better than anyone else. As George’s creator, he knew what was best for George and I trust that Steinbeck made the correct decision in keeping George alive. I also believe it was Steinbeck’s intention for Lennie to be the only one shot as it is more realistic, less predictable and more emotional. Furthermore, do you want George to die? Would Lennie want George to die? I predict the answer to both of these questions is no.
To reiterate previous points; George should not have to suffer for Lennie’s death. George already has to suffer with the knowledge that he shot his best friend, is that not punishment enough? Who are we to play with death? George did everybody (including Lennie) a favour. Who knows what would happen to Lennie, or what Lennie would do. Lennie’s death could potentially prevent many others. It would be unfair for George to be treated like a criminal.
I would also like to raise the issue of George being the one to shoot himself. You have argued the case for his death but not for his killer. Why should George be the one to kill himself? Why not Slim, Curley or even the Government? They all have the capability to shoot George. It is not fair to expect this of George as he clearly does not want to kill himself, which is evident when he throws the gun away. In addition to this, where the death penalty is still in place, the criminals cannot kill themselves- so why should George have that liberty? Finally, it is hard to imagine anybody handing someone a gun with the order to kill themselves. No matter how adamant you are that George should die, you cannot deny the George should not be the one holding a gun to his head. This house believes that George should not have to shoot himself after shooting Lennie.
So I hope that was interesting for you to read! It was really enjoyable to speak it in the debate and my team ended up winning! Also, if you haven’t read Of Mice and Men- you definitely should because it is amazing and extremely emotional at the end.