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Discrimination if often based on many qualities and abilities. Some of the most clearly shown examples in John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men are gender, age and racial discrimination. The victims of these types of discrimination are Curley’s wife, who is unhappy and bitter about her life, Candy, the old, disabled swamper and Crooks, the black stable buck. Throughout the novel, these three characters face many hardships because they are harshly judged and often misunderstood. Curley’s wife is probably one of the most misunderstood characters in the novel, often being looked down upon, or talked badly about.
She is the only woman on the ranch, and who appears consistently throughout the novel. At one point, some of the workers are talking about her role in the ranch, and what she should and shouldn’t do. “Ranch with a bunch of guys ain’t no place for a girl, ‘specially like her. ” George is commenting on his opinion of a woman’s place in a ranch and is voicing his disapproval that a woman is there, especially a woman who has the same attitude as Curley’s wife, and who is constantly trying to flirt with the workers. She is always being judged, and isn’t even accepted at her father-in-law’s ranch.
The men talke badly about her and constantly insult her. Just the fact that she isn’t even given a name, but is just called “Curley’s wife” shows that the workers deemed her of little importance, and seem to not see her worthy of being acknowledged by name. She leads a hard life, where she is often insulted and seen as not important. On conclusion, women, or perhaps more specifically, Curley’s wife, are discriminated greatly against by men. Candy is an old worker, who, due to a serious injury, now works as the swamper. He is constantly worried of what will become of him as soon as he is too old to work, which he fears might be soon.
He expresses these fears to George after hearing him and Lennie discuss their dream. “They’ll can me purty soon. Jus’ as soon as I can’t swamp out no bunk houses they’ll put me on the county… I won’t have no place to go, an’ I can’t get no more jobs. ” In this scene, Candy is explaining to George what he thinks will probably happen to him, and how because of his age he won’t be able to get any more jobs. Candy is afraid of being judged for his age, and is worried of how he’ll live once he can’t work anymore. “But I’ll be on our own place, an’ I’ll be let to work on our own place. Candy is asking George to let him work at their future ranch, because it will be easier for him to work there, since he can do the jobs he knows he cant still do and work at his own pace without the constant threat of being fired looming over his head. Candy is being judged for his age, and knows that soon, he’ll be fired, only because the boss might feel hat Candy isn’t young enough to work there with the energy needed. Candy is having trouble keeping a job due to his age, and knows he probably won’t be able to find another one, because no one will accept a worker his age.
Crooks is the only black man on the ranch, and is often discriminated against by all the other workers at the ranch. He is usually excluded from many activities that all the other men participate in, and is ignored by most of the workers. “I ain’t wanted in the bunk house…cause I’m black…” This quote shows how the other men who work at the ranch reject and isolate Crooks, and how he is forced to have his own bunk house, since he isn’t allowed to reside in the same bunk house as the other workers. Crooks leads a harsh, lonely life, only because the other workers judge him merely because of his skin color. If I say something, why it’s just another nigger sayin’ it. ” Here Crooks is explaining to Lennie how he is looked down on, to the point where his opinion doesn’t matter to others. He is judged on, and ignored, all because of his skin color and race. These are all examples in the novel of how black people are looked down on, and ignored most of the time, because people see them as lesser beings. Curley’s wife, Candy and Crooks are all constantly judged upon, and gravely misunderstood, be it either for their gender, age or skin color. They lead harsh lives that make it hard for them to make it in the world.
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The author drops some subtle, and some not-so subtle hints throughout the novel that show how tough it was for women, black and aged men to try to lead the lives they wanted, especially during that era. This happened not only during that time, but even today . Older men get quickly replaced with younger employees, women are questioned in for many jobs, and black people are constantly stereotyped againsy. Discrimination is an everyday issue that has throughout the years, become harder and harder to overcome. Hopefully, we will soon get past it, and let people live there lives as they wish without being under constant social pressures.
Author: Josh Garten
Of Mice and Men Discrimination Essay
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Discrimination in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay example
812 Words4 Pages
In the literary work Of Mice and Men, the reader is introduced to the ranch as a world of its own, within which prejudice plays a significant part. The characters in this novel act as a community in a world of their own, having no connections to any other type of society. A strong point, enforced through many examples in the book, is the constant ability of the stronger to overcome the weaker. The prejudices of the majority towards the minority, at the ranch are the white-males, who retain power over the lesser groups of people. This inequality, as well as the influence of the time period, causes discrimination against people of color, women, and those that are disabled, either mentally or physically. The crippled, African…show more content…
As Candy, the housekeeper mentions to George, ?Well, I think Curley?s married?a tart.? (p. 14) What the men do not know is that Curley?s wife is just incredibly lonely, once having dreamt to be a star, and marrying Curley after the failure of that dream. She is all alone in the secluded world of the ranch. Having a husband who pays no attention to her, she tries to find someone to talk to among the men in the ranch, dressing provocatively for that reason only. Unfortunately, the combination of misunderstanding and their knowledge of only one type of women ? the kind they encounter at ?cat-houses? ? drives the men away from Curley?s wife. The final type of discrimination shown in the novel is discrimination against the physically and mentally disabled, in this case, Candy, Lennie, and once again Crooks. Because of disabilities, they are the weakness on which the stronger majority of the other men prey upon. Candy, the one handed housekeeper, is only allowed to live at the ranch as a compensation, because the loss of his hand occurred there. He gives the men power over him by being overly careful in what he does and says, because if he gets thrown out from the ranch, no one would take him. And just for that reason, he is drawn into George and Lennie?s dream of owning a farm. He wants the security of knowing that he has somewhere to stay for the rest of his life, and that he will not be discarded