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Lennie went back and looked at the dead girl. The puppy lay close to her. Lennie picked it up. "I'll throw him away," he said. "It's bad enough like it is." (5.59)
Lennie knows he's done a "bad" thing, but he's so innocent that he somehow thinks throwing away the puppy is going to make it look better. Well, fair enough. It is always worse when the dog dies.
George said softly, "—I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would." (5.78)
It turns out that dreams, hopes, and plans aren't worth all that much when you know they'll never come true in the first place. But maybe George clung to their shared dream because it helped him schelp along through a rather tough life. Otherwise, why even bother?