The New York World 's Fair Corporation

1756 Words Aug 22nd, 2015 8 Pages
What is average? In the 1930’s, the New York World’s Fair Corporation conducted a competition across America to answer a very similar question. They wanted to define what the average American family was. The winners? A family by the name of the Leathers, who lived in Texas. They were white, able-bodied, with two parents, two children, and the breadmaker of the house was a man. Other finalists in the competition paralleled the Leathers in almost every regard. When using this contest as a foundation for the definition of average, it shows how average is not diverse and rather exclusive. The contest completely disregarded the diverse people who make America the melting pot of the world. This is one of many themes that American author, John Steinbeck, explores in two of his novellas. The first, Of Mice and Men, follows the lovable characters George and Lennie and their struggles during the Great Depression. The second, The Pearl, follows two natives of Mexico, Kino and Juana. Three of the four characters just named, do not fit the molds of their societies. Because of this, they are treated differently and are often marginalized. Steinbeck is criticizing this and he is emphasizing how unfair social gaps in societies, results in poor treatment of the “have-nots” as shown in the lives of Crooks, Curley’s wife, Candy, and Kino and Juana. One social gap that is apparent in Of Mice and Men is the division between whites and non-whites. Steinbeck addresses this issue and emphasizes…
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