Differences In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Words: 1184
Pages: 5

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” The short story, “Of Mice and Men,” written by John Steinbeck, takes place in the late 1930’s while discrimination of almost everything besides the healthy white male existed. In this story, two complete opposites embark on a journey to achieve their American dream of owning a small farm with plenty of crops and animals. Along the way, they observe various forms of prejudice, some dealing with themselves. In the story, the reader learns how African-Americans, women and the mentally handicapped were negatively portrayed during this time.

African Americans during this time were treated the worst out of the previously mentioned
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Later in the story, we learn that the main female character, Curley’s wife, had the potential to be an actress, however, that dream failed and she married a very controlling man named Curley. Curley is very protective over his wife and tries to keep her inside away from the men at all times. The lack of respect she received and the prejudice surrounding women is the reason for her harshness and eventually her downfall. “Well, you keep your place then, Bullski. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny.’ Crooks had reduced himself to nothing,” (Page 81). Curley’s wife is so sick of the way she is being treated that she releases all of the anger onto Crooks and the other men. She does this because Curley tries to make her stay inside and away from the other men. But, she’s as lonely as the rest of the other men and wants someone to talk to just like Crooks. However, when she does come into contact with the men of the ranch she isn’t treated with the respect that she’d hoped for. “George said, ‘She’s gonna make a mess. They’s gonna be a bad mess about her. She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her,’ (Page 51). Due to the context and word choice of Steinbeck's text, it seems that women were talked about like pets. Also, George comes to a …show more content…
People are so quick to judge one by their looks rather than by talents and abilities. This is proven by Lennie. He is a bit slow and suffers from memory loss. But, is the best worker on the ranch once he is able to show off his unique strength. “If he finds out what a crazy bastard you are, we won't get no job, but if he sees ya work before he hears ya talk, we're set," (Page 6). This quote spoken by George says that if their new boss finds out that Lennie is mentally ill, then neither of them would get hired. This is because of the generalization during the time period that all mentally handicapped people are less superior to those completely healthy. Also, because of his intellectual capabilities, many times in the story he is compared to a kid. “Slim had not moved. His calm eyes followed Lennie out of the door. ‘Jesus,’ he said. ‘He's jes' like a kid, ain't he," (Page 43). This is a negative generalization towards Lennie because they are saying because of his disability he has a maturity level of a child. Even throughout the story, it shows Lennie occasionally behaving in a childish manner, however, there are many of times where he isn’t shown as childish. The irony to Slim’s prediction is later in the story when his anger gets the best of him and he kills Curley’s wife showing he is very much not like a kid. Everyone treated Lennie like a child and telling him what he can do,