Dissection Of Discrimination In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Decent Essays

A Dissection of Discrimination John F. Kennedy once stated, “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity… we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air… And we are all mortal”. Despite clear homogeneity among humankind, it is difficult to name a time in which there was little to no prejudice against certain communities. Even today, in a seemingly progressive society, racism, sexism, and ableism are still prevalent. Similarly to Kennedy in his American University commencement speech, Steinbeck suggests working towards improving humanity’s issues by bringing them to light in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, declaring that writers are “charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement”. In his novella Of Mice and Men, the characterization of Crooks, Curley’s wife, and Lennie exposes one of humanity’s most “grievous faults” or “failures” in their discrimination of others, but also provides a new perspective on everyday prejudice for the purpose of improvement. To begin, although Steinbeck’s characterization of Crooks demonstrates everyday racism, Lennie’s view of Crooks portrays common humanity between characters that may not be recognized otherwise. When Crooks demands that Curley’s wife leaves, she enjoins him to “keep [his] place then, n*****” and claims she “could get [him] strung up on a tree so easy”

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