Of Mice and Men Research Paper

1918 Words Oct 22nd, 2012 8 Pages
Diego Gomez
Period 2
10/20/2011

Segregation by Unjust Social Norms in Of Mice and Men

In John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men characters in the novel are segregated by sex, race, age, physical and mental disabilities. John Steinbeck portrays the intolerance and bigotry of 1930’s America through the separation of his characters based on their handicaps. Lennie, Candy, Candy’s dog, Curley’s wife and Crooks all face social pressure from the other characters on the ranch based on their intelligence, physical disability, age, sex and color. Stereotyping based on ethnic or physical characteristics is typical to the 1930’s depression where civil rights for minority groups had not yet been addressed. Almost all of the characters who, in
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Like Candy, Candy’s dog is faced with the ultimate punishment for his age and disability. Candy’s dog is old and said to smell bad and isn’t worth anything, the dog is shot because of its disabilities. This event foreshadows Lennie’s fate at the hand of George. Both of these characters’ euthanasia is rationalized to put them out of their misery and to prevent future suffering from happening due to their disabilities. Which is almost a mirror image of George and Lennie’s relationship where George has known Lennie for a considerable amount of time and George knows that he is completely responsible of Lennie’s well-being and when that well-being is in jeopardy George feels a moral obligation just like Candy did when he gave permission to Carlson to shoot his dog. The euthanizing of Candy’s dog is a “foreshadowing of what will happen with Lennie and George” (Thomas Scarseth) because both Candy and George’s relationship to those dependent to them end with them killing them in order to save them from suffering. Curley’s wife, who is seen by all the farm hands as “trouble just waiting to happen” (22), and is separated from all the other characters, in order to keep all the other workers safe no one