Prejudice is explored, and run throughout John Steinbeck novel “Of Mice and Men. ” Steinbeck reflects this by executing The Great Depression and sass’s as a backdrop. He indicates the natural flaws of human nature; one has within himself. No matter what their status in society is considered as. Steinbeck also explores our options when we meet differences in people. He expresses prejudice profusely through the characters, Crooks, Curlers wife, and finally George and Leonie. By revealing how it can cause a person to feel worthless, insignificant, as well as lonely.
Crooks, the black stable hand is a key example of how racial prejudice can increase loneliness, and make one feel as if they are minimized to nothing. The different intensities of prejudice can be perceived during this novel. An example includes why the workers, fear any interaction with Crooks. One night Crooks explains to Leonie why he does not interact with the Others. “Cause I’m black. They play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well I tell you, you all stink to me This lack of social contact has caused him to grow into an isolated and titer individual.
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Crooks’ loneliness was not conducted by him upon himself. The reason as to why he is unable to interact with the others specifically is due to the prejudice on the ranch. Nevertheless, when all the rest of the workers have gone into town, leaving behind those of the farm’s inhabitants who are unfit to accompany them: Crooks, because he is black, Leonie, because he is mentally challenged, Candy, because he is handicapped and old, and Curlers wife, because she is a woman. Here Crooks takes advantage of Lien’s presence, by taking a moment to pick on someone more inferior.
Suppose George never comes back for you… Then what are you guan do? The above quote indicates that it is natural to implement our superiority complex. Here the reader discovers the mean side of Crooks which develops after being alone for a long time. However; Leonie does not process this, due to his mental disability. Although Crooks deserves equal respect on the farm, he is not treated with fairness due to prejudice. Crooks give’s account of a relatively fortunate, happy, and carefree childhood. “A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe reading’ books or stuff like that,” he explains. Sometimes he gets thinking’, an’ he got nothing to tell him what’s so an’ what anti so…. He can’t turn to some other guy and sat him if he sees it too. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by. ” This in Crooks opinion is considered as loneliness: to crave for an individual’s companionship, thoughts and impressions. Crooks’ character is a reflection of how the black minorities were treated during the sass’s. Furthermore; in Steinbeck novel, sexism is portrayed through the character of Cur less wife. Like Crooks she isn’t given her own unique identity. However; is always referred to as Curlers possession.
She is excluded for being a female, and is often found in search for companionship on the ranch. Since her newly found marriage does not give her the affection she desires, as she states to Leonie “l don’t like Curler he ant a nice fell. ” Because of this Curler’s wife often tries to interact with the other men although she is never allowed as they think a “ranch ant no place for a girl. ” Carlson also states of how a “women should be at home where she belongs. ” The fact that she is excluded from a place of physical ark is demonstrates how women were portrayed during the sass’s.
They were not expected to do work, but instead stay at home and raise a family. Another example of prejudice is the sexism Curlers wife endures. This prejudice generates her feelings of loneliness, as the only woman on the farm. ” I seen her give Slim the eye.. An’ seen her give Carlson the eye… Lathing Curler married a tart. ” These negative comments of the workers, have an affect on her since she is often avoided by everyone. This increases her loneliness to which she dismisses into a flirtatious nature. The lack of social companions deepens the sorrow and lonesomeness in her and causes her to resort to seeking attention from the men.
She, too, remembers a happier, promising past: as a younger woman, she was promised a glamorous, attention-getting future as an actress, her image and name known to thousands instead of forgotten even by her daily companions: she tells Leonie that “l Could been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes…. An’ could sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me…. Because this guy says was a natural [actress]. ” Instead of this future, Curlers fife is left to crave the attention she was promised as an actress as a flirting, bordering-on-unfaithful woman and that attention is neither the kind she wants nor in the quantity she wants.
This indicates Steinbeck referral to the sass’s were many women had a similar dream to this as they thought about the excitement that would follow in a lavish career. Like Crooks, Curlers wife lives a life of loneliness and pining-turned-bitterness after a past that promised a future but provided none. Lastly, the characters of George and Leonie are considered the only individuals that are not lonely. The reason is because they have the companionship of each other. Here Steinbeck explores our options when we meet differences in people, and how we are benefited through kindness.
Prejudice against the mentally disabled Leonie is a giant man of incredible strength, but has a metal disability that makes him slow-to-learn and almost child-like. George and Leonie had to flee the last town because Leonie touched a woman’s dress and he’d been accused of rape. He believes himself to be content with George’s companionship and friendship, which is, truly, a friendship disguised as the rare pity and empathy f one man for another in a hard, compassion-free world; a symbiotic and beneficial relationship to both parties, disguised as the symbiotic relationship of a parasite and a provider.
As is proven by Crooks’ torture of Leonie regarding George, in which Crooks at once exerts a newfound power over one even lower in society than him and tries – a little too successfully, foreshadowing what will happen to George after he is left without Leonie -?? to show Leonie the misery and loneliness of a companion-free world, Leonie would be nothing without George. In Weed, George saves Leonie from horrible death or imprisonment as a freak and beast after the incident with the girl in the soft red dress; in Salinas, he saves him again, this time not from death but from torture or agonizing lynching.
Without George to protect him, Leonie would be alone: Crooks states that frightening fact on page 71 : “Spoke George don’t come back no more. Suppose he took a powder and just anti coming back. What’s you do then? ” George, Crooks and Leonie all know what would become of him without George – the former two factually and clearly, he latter instinctively, just as a child knows he is in danger when he is lost and unable to find his parents in a crowded place.
Lastly, George himself is, although accepted by society, almost alone in the world. As he states, “Guys like us… Are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place…. They anti got nothing to look ahead to. ” ‘”With us it anti like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us. ” Although he may not admit it to himself and as much as he may returned that the dream is Lien’s, George is, although differently, quite as dependent on Leonie as Leonie is on George.
Whether by nature or because he is so used to Leonie, George automatically looks to him for the companionship he tells himself is forced; he looks to him for illusion and innocence, for hope and for the ability to dream, an oasis to George in a hard, disillusioned world. A little too successfully, foreshadowing what will happen to George after he is left without Leonie – to show Leonie the misery and loneliness of a companion-free world, Leonie would be nothing without George.