In the novella, Steinbeck creates different types of segregation restricting from contradictory origins that lead to various, although still disappointing outcomes such as; the discrimination of Curley’s wife, racism & class prejudice towards Crooks and George’s separation even though he has Lennie.
The author portrays Curley’s wife as another character used to express the gender prejudice that would occur to an average 1930’s American woman. Curley’s wife is discriminated against regularly often being called “jailbait” or “tart” apart from that she is never given a name, which Steinbeck has purposely done, as she is not one to have an identity, she is a possession Steinbeck has illustrated her to represent such a high extent of loneliness that he does not present her an identity. Curley is abusive, although we never see them together; she spends much time "looking" for Curley, though she is really looking for other companionship. The author depicts Curley’s wife as one only trying to acquire some attention in a workingman’s world, for she is often ignored and or unwanted. She does not have her place on the ranch and is being alienated and discriminated for trying to speak to somebody and escape the trapped isolated state that she is in. Which, in fact is very similar to the other guys. "I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely."
"What's the matter with me? Ain't I got a right to talk to nobody?"
"Seems like they ain't none of them cares how I gotta live". (P. 85-86) Steinbeck tends to allow the reader to emphasise and feel for Curley’s wife. Indeed, the author succeeds in the portrayal of Curley’s wife as one who only craves companionship and clearly substantiating the shattering affects of segregation.
Steinbeck denotes a very powerful demonstration of segregation through the lonely stable buck, Crooks, who is possibly the most marginalised Character in the novella. He is one who suffers alienation in a completely different form, in comparison to all the other characters in the novel. He suffers such isolation more because of his race than his past. He is placed on the same level as an animal, in fact the nickname that introduces him to the reader does not refer to him as a man, however, he also is relegated to sleep with animals in the stable away from the other men who live in the bunkhouse. Crooks has something very interesting to input on p. 81 “A guy needs somebody-to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.” This dominant and empathetic quote describes Crooks’ emotion and puts you in his shoes for a second. Crooks is longing for the feeling of friendship, the feeling of respect, trust and comradery. He doesn’t care who he just wants somebody present to make him feel better and to eradicate that feeling of segregation.
The author of the novella denotes George and Lennie’s close companionship, despite George's impatience and annoyance with Lennie, and his remarks about how easy his life would be without him, he still believes that: "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place.... With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” (P. 13-14) In the novella George has Lennie and Lennie has George and they are always together but that does