Racial Discrimination In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Decent Essays
Imagine being outcast because of your ethnicity; or being the only woman on a ranch, stuck in a loveless marriage, when all you really want is someone to talk to. What about having to kill a friend, and bury all chances of breaking free from the life of an average migrant worker? How would anybody feel? These situations in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men illustrates two key points throughout the story; discrimination and loneliness. In Of Mice and Men, Crooks, the black stable hand, is the definition of racial discrimination. He is isolated from the community of white migrant workers because of his racial status. Crook mentioned this point clearly to Lennie when they first met. “'Why ain't you wanted?' Lennie asked. 'Cause I'm black.…show more content…
In the beginning of the Of Mice and Men, George says that “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place’” (Steinbeck 48). Steinbeck made it loud and clear that back then, most ranchers are lonely and have nothing to look forward to. Probably, the loneliest person on the ranch has to be Crooks. He suffers from extreme loneliness lives by himself, because the other white men do not like him. He does not take part in any of the social activities in the ranch and is left out completely. He’s desperate for company and for someone to talk, even though he tries not to show it. When Lennie comes into his room he just talks and doesn't care if Lennie is listening or not, because he is so desperate. Crooks says to Lennie "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't matter no difference who the guy is, long's he with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an he gets sick" (Steinbeck 105). This shows that he desperately needs a friend to talk to and is at a point where he is becoming emotionally sick of it. Loneliness is one key idea of Of Mice and Men.
Even though loneliness and racism rained throughout the 1930s, people like Crooks and George, tried their best to cope with all of the madness. To start off, it is obvious Crooks is aware of his problem and tries to cope with it through books and magazines. He spent tons of hours reading through books
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