“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” This quote, once said by E. B. White, excellently states what the novel, Of Mice and Men, is trying to clearly state. Of Mice and Men is a profound novel that has many things to teach society. This novel, written by John Steinbeck, reflects many flaws in the world today. It mirrors many of the characteristics that every human possesses. Prejudice is still a common way of thinking in today’s society, and to the people who feel victimized, it can be hard to overcome. Curley’s wife, Lennie, and Crooks all deal with prejudice against themselves different ways.
There is a lot of racial prejudice shown in this novel towards Crooks, the black stable-hand. Crooks, the “more permanent than the other men” (67), had his own “little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn” (66) with “more possessions than he could carry on his back” (67). He, "ain’t wanted in the bunk house" (68) just because he is "black, they play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black" (68). Curley’s wife would never call him by his name, and treated him awfully while abusing her position as the boss’ son’s wife. “’Listen, Nigger’, she said, ‘you know what I can do to you if you open you trap’"(80).
In Of Mice and Men the character Crooks is a stable hand who works with the ranch horses. He is also the only black man on the ranch because of this he lives by himself. Crooks is seen as an outcast because of his skin color and because he has been injured and that has afected his ability to perform the duties expected of him.
By looking more closely at the story, one can see that Curley’s wife is also a metaphor which symbolizes the way which other people looked upon women in the society of the 1930’s. Curley’s wife represents a whole marginalized group in the American society at that time. In the novel, characters are never fully developed, but instead appear as outlines or symbols of real people. Candy, Crooks, and Curley's wife represent the discriminated groups of age, race, and sex. Curley’s wife has been given an overall picture in the eyes of George and Lennie before they even meet her, by Candy. The picture Candy paints about her hints at how she tends to give all the men on the ranch ‘the eye’. Nobody really knows Curley’s wife because nobody ever talks to her and listens to what she really has to say. Curley’s wife wants attention. She wants people to notice her. She is the only woman on the ranch out of all the men. She wears fancy clothes and nice make up to make her look beautiful and
The 1930’s was a time period in which discrimination played a vital role in the lives of minorities. In the 1930’s, men were in search for jobs on the ranches and women were generally working inside the house. Although the 1930’s seems pretty far back, discrimination still occurs in society today and can either be intentional or nonintentional. There are several different forms of discrimination: racial, disabled, age, and sexual. Any type of discrimination is harmful to the individual and often times leaves them feeling alienated and lonely. All of these types of discrimination are seen in the characters of John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men. Past history of discrimination has influenced him to display it in his novel. Each person’s type
They Way Oppression is Portrayed in Of Mice and Men In the novella, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the diverse set of characters individually handle oppression on a daily basis. For these characters, racist, sexist and degrading remarks are normal for the time period (early 1900’s). The story is about two men, Lennie and George, trying to find work in a troubling economic time while also trying to overcome Lennie’s mental handicap. They also meet other people that have to overcome their own “setbacks”. The author shows oppression of the characters through their effect on others, actions, and their dialogue.
Curley’s wife is probably one of the most misunderstood characters in the novel, often being looked down upon, or talked badly about. She is the only woman on the ranch, and who appears consistently throughout the novel. At one point, some of the workers are
Crooks is mentioned in chapter four as the black guy who has his own living area due to the color of his skin. Because of Crooks’ age and race, readers can learn that he is isolated from from white people and made “invisible” by society. Despite his experiences, Crooks longs to
It is known fact that extreme gender roles can be psychologically harmful and Steinbeck’s character Curley is a testament to this. Society in the novel believed that men are supposed to be strong and tall however Curley is none of these. He feels so pressured by society to look and act a certain way and so he resents men who are taller and is always trying to fight people who he does not match up to. The patriarchal system led Curley to feel the need to display his dominance and resort to violence. Candy describes
Finally, John Steinbeck shows off the bullying and meanness as intentional and contrasts it to Lennie’s unintentional meanness, such as when he hurts the puppy (pg 85), the mouse (pg 5), and kills Curley’s wife (pg 91). When Curley wants to fight it is intentional and violent. George explains Lennie’s violence when he says that Lennie "never done it in meanness" (pg 104). Lennie kills because he does not know his own strength – he cuddles or loves to hard. Also, he panics and reacts without thought, such as when he pulled the woman’s dress. (pg 41) Also, showing a contrast in motive is that Lennie is so upset by what he has done, especially to Curley’s wife. He is the only one who shows real remorse.
Some characters in this novel are alienated by mainstream society because they do not fit society’s ideal image of a person. And they are all not accepted as human beings. Throughout John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Men, the social injustice of how people were treated during the Great Depression is explored through the characters Crooks, Curley’s wife, and Lennie, to show that society actually needs to become stronger than it really is.
Curley’s Wife was a subject of Prejudice because she was a woman. During the 1930’s a woman’s place was to be at home raising a family, also women were seen as second class citizens and property of their husbands. Before we meet Curley’s Wife, the reader already has an opinion of her because of what the character Candy calls her- “jail bait”; George calls her a “tramp”. It’s implied that she is a tart and a promiscuous woman; she craves the attention her husband doesn’t give her.
In the literary work Of Mice and Men, the reader is introduced to the ranch as a world of its own, within which prejudice plays a significant part. The characters in this novel act as a community in a world of their own, having no connections to any other type of society. A strong point, enforced through many examples in the book, is the constant ability of the stronger to overcome the weaker. The prejudices of the majority towards the minority, at the ranch are the white-males, who retain power over the lesser groups of people. This inequality, as well as the influence of the time period, causes discrimination against people of color, women, and those that are disabled, either mentally or physically.
As the only woman on the ranch and one of the very few mentioned throughout the entire novella, Curley’s wife is mistreated by the sexist men she lives around and is even blamed for her own demise. The workers on the ranch look down on her and often speak negatively about her behind her back. The men insult her with derogatory names such as “tramp”, “bitch”, and “rat-trap”(Steinbeck 32). After Lennie kills her, Candy blames her for her own death yelling at her corpse, “‘You done it, di’n’t you? I s’pose you’re glad. Ever’body knowed you’d mess things up. You wasn’t no good. You ain’t no good now, you lazy tart.’ He sniveled, and his voice shook. ‘I could of hoed in the garden and washed dishes for them guys.’” (Steinbeck 95-96) Candy blames Curley’s wife for the string of unfortunate events that led to both her death and the death of Lennie and emphasizes that he always thought she was trouble. He places the blame on her for not allowing him to achieve the American dream, even when her death was at the hands of Lennie, a mentally challenged man. Literary critic Howard Levant, when discussing the death of Curley’s wife, states, “The ultimate irony in this tangle of violence is that none of the characters is evil or intends to do evil… ‘love’ has different meanings for Lennie and for Curley’s wife; the clash of meanings ensures their deaths.” (Bloom 97-98) Levant is
In this case, loneliness is the biggest tragedy. Crooks is the stable buck. He is different from the rest because he is black, in a time where racial prejudice is strong. He has also been crippled, and so his life is very bad. He lives separately to the others in his own room, the harness room. He has books on his shelves, which shows that he is more intellectual than the others. He has fond memories of his past, when he and his white friends would play on their chicken ranch, and were oblivious as to why their parents didn't like it. Now he knows why, and he hates the fact that he can't come into the bunkhouse to play cards, but has to spend all his free time by himself. The white people exclude him, so instead of pleading with them he decides he is going to exclude them as well.