Discrimination in the Book “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

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Discrimination was one of the issues that caused conflict in the novel “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. One example of discrimination in the novel comes in the form of racial discrimination against Crooks, as he is an African American. Another example of discrimination is gender discrimination against Curley’s wife. Finally, there is discrimination against mentally disabled people, which is evident in Lennie’s character. The ranch hands' actions and conversations demonstrated the racial discrimination against Crooks for his skin colour, gender discrimination against Curley’s wife for her gender, and prejudice against Lennie, who was mentally disabled individual. This prevented the characters from reaching their full potential and causes tragedy. The racial discrimination was one of the aspects of the discrimination in this story. Consequently, Crooks had to battle with various difficulties and conflicts, which prevented him from reaching his full potential. The ranch hands did not let Crooks live, eat, and play with them because his skin colour was different. It led to the conflict between him and Lennie. "Why ain't you wanted?" Lennie asked. "Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me.” (Steinbeck, 68). In this conversation between Lennie and African - American stable buck Crooks, Crooks explains why he could not accepted to play cards together with other ranch hands. The fact that other ranch hands discriminate Crooks because of his skin colour is one of the important examples that prove social belief that race was one factor to determine a person’s value in Depression era. Crooks was isolated. This isolation prevented Crooks ... ... middle of paper ... ...ntally disabled people prevented Lennie from being trusted and be respected as a human being. In this novel, discrimination that Lennie had to face prevented him from showing his abilities. Throughout the novel Of Mice and Men, Crooks, Curley’s wife, and Lennie could not reach their potential because of the discrimination against them. In Depression era, people discriminated African-American people by using derogatory terms, physically assaulting them and limiting their socialization. They discriminated women by calling names and making offensive assumptions. The mentally disabled people were target of brutal actions, stereotypes, and betrayals. Steinbeck was warning to people not to discriminate others by showing various conflicts and tragic ending that caused by discrimination. Works Cited Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin Books, 1937. Print.
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