The Role Of Discrimination In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a classic that takes place in Soledad, California in the Great Depression. During this time, the American economy had become languished from the inflation of the Dollar and other events. This in turned caused work to be hard to find, and numerous amounts of people ended up working in small ranches doing menial tasks, including most the main characters. However, along with economic issues, discrimination was also conventional practice during those times. In the story, many characters are discriminated because of certain qualities; Lennie, Crooks, and Candy all had a decreased quality of life because of discrimination. Firstly, Lennie was discriminated in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men because of his mental incapabilities. In the story, despite it not being stated explicitly, it is apparent that Lennie has some form of a mental incapability. He does not appear to be able to behave or control his strength, and he tends to forget things easily. Because of this, people tend to treat him as if he was a small child, including George, who took care of Lennie. For instance, in fear of Lennie saying something that could cost them the new job, George …show more content…
Even though slavery was abolished throughout the United States, racism was extremely prevalent. Many people treated African Americans as second-class citizens, just because of the color of their skin. In the book, Crooks works as a stable buck, and he lives in the barn, which is a separate building from the rest of the men: “Crooks, the Negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn” (Steinbeck 66). Because of discrimination, Crooks is forced to live by himself, not interacting with others much. This causes him to become lonely, as found out later in the chapter: “‘I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.’” (Steinbeck