Discrimination In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Words: 392
Pages: 2

Set in America in the 1930s during the Great Depression, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men encompass a time when outright discrimination was prominent. These award-winning novels depict the many forms of oppression/discrimination prevalent in society. Both authors emphasize the inherent prejudice against various minorities to bring about change in the reader.

Lee and Steinbeck illustrate the pervasive nature of racial discrimination in society. Tom Robinson of Lee’s novel and Crooks of Steinbeck’s novella are victims of segregation because they are black. Being near white women proves to be perilous for both of them. Tom is hesitant to enter the house of Mayella, a white woman, to assist her, later being falsely convicted of raping her by of an all-white jury. Crooks objects to Curley’s wife entering the barn, only to be threatened with lynching. Through these injustices, Tom and Crooks are made to feel inferior and viewed as subhuman because of their skin color. Consequently, they lose their freedom, human rights, and their dignity.
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Scout, the protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird, and Curley’s wife of Of Mice and Men are criticized and ignored because they are women, viewed as weak and fragile. In Scout’s town of Maycomb, women are not allowed to serve on the jury. In the end, Curley’s wife suffers the same fate as a field mouse at the hands of Lennie. Similarly, Boo and Lennie are persecuted because they differ from society. Boo Radley, a recluse from To Kill a Mockingbird, is the subject of numerous rumors, creating a negative image that haunts children’s dreams. Lennie, a main character of Of Mice and Men, is treated inferiorly for his mental handicap. The gender perceived as feeble and those who differ from societal norms are often judged