Without an Identity in John Stienbeck´s Of Mice and Men Essay

Without an Identity in John Stienbeck´s Of Mice and Men Essay

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In the short novel Of Mice and Men, the two characters Crooks, a Negro stable hand, and Curley’s wife, a lowly farm woman, have a very important purpose. The author, John Steinbeck uses them in different ways to get across a message. Although they are very different, they both struggle with loneliness and a lack of identity throughout the whole story. During the book, Steinbeck shows similarities, differences, and an overall message about the treatment of African Americans and women in this time period through the characters of Crooks and Curley’s wife.
Curley’s wife and Crooks have many similarities that are evident in the story. They both are forced to live isolated away from all the others. Because of this, they both suffer from loneliness and feel like they have no identity. They look for company anywhere they can find it and they have a conversation with anyone who will give them the time of day. Both Crooks and Curley’s wife are treated unfairly and are not allowed to associate with any of the other men on the farm. Despite his unfair treatment, the only person that Crooks really expresses his loneliness to is Lennie; “Crooks said gently, ‘Maybe you can see now. You got George. You know he’s goin’ to come back. S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk house and play rummy ‘cause you was black…. A guy goes nuts if he aint got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you’” (71). Crooks and Curley’s wife both long for attention and will take it however they can get it.
Although they have many things in common, Curley’s wife and Crooks do have a few differences. Despite the deep longing for a friend, Crooks knows his place and never crosses any boundaries between him and t...


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...itely aware of the treatment of African Americans and women during this time period and he used the characters of Crooks and Curley’s wife to convey a message about that.
During the book, Steinbeck shows similarities, differences, and an overall message about the treatment of African Americans and women in this time period through the characters of Crooks and Curley’s wife. In the beginning of the novel, these characters just appear to be flat characters that do not impact the story at all, but by the end a point is shown about the loneliness of African Americans and women in this time period. Although the similarities in the two characters may be hard to spot, they are definitely there. By using the characters in different ways, Steinbeck is able to get his message across very well. Without Crooks and Curley’s wife, the story would lose half of its meaning.




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