Prejudice in of Mice and Men

1582 Words Mar 17th, 2012 7 Pages
In John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men, there are many example of prejudice. The main types of prejudice shown in this novel are racial, sexual and social prejudice.

This essay is firstly going to look at racial prejudice. There is much racial prejudice shown in Of Mice and Men towards Crooks the black crippled stable buck. Crooks is more permanent than the other ranch hands and has his own room off the stables with many more possessions than them. This room is made out to be a privilege and also because it means he is nearer to the horses but in fact it is really because the other ranch hands do not want him in the bunk house with them. As a result of this prejudice Crooks has become bitter and very lonely.

When Lennie comes to
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Curley's wife on the other hand is rude without excuse. " `Listen, Nigger' , she said. `You know what I can do to you if you open you trap'" She abuses her position and has no respect for him at all, she doesn't even refer to him by his name, looking down on him with utter contempt and disdain. It is attitudes like hers that have turned him into the bitter man he has become – "Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality, no ego-nothing to arouse either like or dislike"

As with Crooks’ treatment of Lennie, however, the author reveals the reciprocal nature of prejudice and resentment in the farm. Curley's wife encounters a lot of discrimination because of her sex over the course of the novel. Living on a ranch where the large majority of the inhabitants are male, she is very lonely. George knowingly comments, "Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl" .

Perhaps as a further representation of her apparent insignificance she is always referred to as `Curley's wife', never given a name. She experiences further sexual prejudice in that none of the ranch hands will talk to her. This is partly because she can make up things about those she dislikes who will subsequently get `the can' and also because she is a `looloo' with a very flirtatious nature. "She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody. I bet she even gives the stable buck they eye. I don't know what the hell she wants" says

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