Theme Of Discrimination In Of Mice And Men

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Discrimination in Of Mice and Men
The acts of prejudice and discrimination are quite prevalent in the novel Of Mice and Men. The author of the book, John Steinbeck, sets the plot of the story in the times of The Great Depression in 1930s California. Steinbeck introduces many characters which each have reasons for them to considered “different” by the masses of the overall population. The prejudices and discriminations against the characters of Lennie, Crooks and Curley’s wife will be discussed along with the effects of the hate on the characters’ individual personalities and lifestyles.
The character of Lennie is introduced in the very beginning of the story along with the setting and also Lennie’s friend/caretaker, George. Lennie could be considered a “gentle giant”, but he suffers from some mental impairments which get the duo into some trouble. In the first chapter of the book, George begins to explain his feelings of anger and frustration towards their situation of looking for employment. He begins showing discrimination to Lennie by saying that he was the source of all of their problems. “You can’t keep a job and you lose me ever’ job I get… You crazy son-of-a-bitch. You keep me in hot water all the time.” (Steinbeck 11) George also explains how much easier his life would be if he did not have to look after Lennie. “God a’mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an’ work, an’ no trouble.” (11) This, of course, hurts Lennie’s feelings, and the reader can tell this because Steinbeck goes on to write that Lennie’s face had an “anguished” (11) look to it. Later, Lennie asks, “George, you want I should go away and leave you alone?” Although, Lennie’s poor memory makes him forget about George’s hateful co...

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...nie who is put into conflicts with the ranch boss’s son because of his size. Another character is Crooks, who is the only African American the ranch the characters are working at. Because of his race, he is treated much more harshly than the other workers. He is called by offensive names and is forced to bunk in his own room away from the others. Lastly, Curley’s wife is the only girl on the ranch, so all the male workers seem to judge her too quickly. This keeps them from getting to know her as a person and she ends up being seen as more of a whore than another person with feelings just like the men have. Discrimination, like racism, sexism, and social segregation are all over the workplace in this novel. These aspects make each individual character have a story of their own, and all the stories come together to make a very interesting book like Of Mice and Men.
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