Characterization In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The long, hard war of human equality in society, has been a war since the beginning of civilization. The Great Depression, a tragic time in America’s history, reflects American determination, but also social inequality. In the fiction novella, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses symbolism and characterization to address ableism and sexism in society. Steinbeck addresses these flaws in society in an attempt to ultimately bring awareness these riffs before society falls. First of all, Steinbeck uses characterization and symbolism to address ableism in society. Lennie’s characterization, in precise, addresses ableism. On page 40 Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck writes “‘ I used to have a hell of a lot of fun with ‘im. Used to play jokes on ‘im ‘cause…show more content…
The idea that George uses Lennie’s retardedness for amusement relates back to ableism. Instead of helping Lennie and build him up, George sinks him down with harsh words and cruel pranks. Society does not help people with disabilities, they mock, like George would mock Lennie. Steinbeck uses symbolism as well to explain ableism in society, in specific Candy’s dog. This point is further shown in the novella, Of Mice and Men, when Steinbeck writes, “Well--hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup. I herded sheep with him,’ he said proudly,’ You wouldn’t think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen.’ … Carlson insisted. “And he stinks to beat hell. Tell you what. I’ll shoot him for you.’” (44-45). Candy’s dog sees no mercy in the eyes of Carlson. Carlson insists on the dog’s death, so far as to murder the animal himself. This shows the cold, harsh reality of those with disabilities in society. Though the mutt was once great, one of “greatest” sheep dogs Candy has ever seen, has been beaten down by age. Carlson coldly decides the dog’s fate, the old greatness…show more content…
Steinbeck uses characterization to explain racism. On page 68 of Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, it states “‘Well, I got a right to have a light. You go on get outta my room. I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain’t wanted in my
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