Do you think all of the characters in ‘Of Mice and Men’ are prejudged? (25 Marks) In ‘Of Mice and Men’ most of the characters are subjected to discrimination and prejudice. The prejudice can be seen most in the characters Lennie Small, Crooks and Curley’s Wife. Curley’s Wife was a subject of Prejudice because she was a woman. During the 1930’s a woman’s place was to be at home raising a family, also women were seen as second class citizens and property of their husbands. Before we meet Curley’s Wife, the reader already has an opinion of her because of what the character Candy calls her- “jail bait”; George calls her a “tramp”. It’s implied that she is a tart and a promiscuous woman; she craves the attention her husband doesn’t give her. Another way prejudice against Curley’s Wife is shown by Steinbeck not giving her an actual name. She is defined by her husband, she is his property, displayed and treated like any other of his possessions.
The irony is Curley’s Wife “coulda been in the movies” (her American dream) which contrast the idea of having your name in lights. Crooks and Curley’s Wife are quite similar because they’re pushed away from the mainstream society of the ranch, they are the outsiders. Also another thing which links Curley’s Wife and Crooks is the lack of an actual name, Crooks is called Crook as he has a crocked back as he was kicked by a horse, the lack of a prober name dehumanises the characters, making them less important, Steinbeck uses this to highlight how different groups of people where degraded. Another character who is discriminated against is Crooks. Crooks is an African American character that is discriminated racially, he also has a crocked back. During the 1930’s there was segregation between black and white people this is show in ‘Of Mice and Men’ Crook is segregated from the rest of the Ranch workers. His room is on the edge of the ranch, which highlights how much of an outsider he is.
When we see Crooks’ room for the first time it’s less than basic, ”Crook’s was a long box filled with hay” this is another form of discrimination as he isn’t treated equally, his room shows how black people where thought of – lesser people. “hay” is associated with animals partially horses this could suggest that the Boss thinks of Crooks as an animal and belongs outside. Crooks don’t say much in the book, because during that time black people didn’t have a voice and would be judged on what they said. Crooks and Lennie are also similar because there outcasts, both characters are excluded from nights out with other ranch workers and games that the others play when they aren’t working. Lennie Small is one of the main characters in the book. He is mentally disabled and has the mind of a child. Lennie is a misunderstood character who has good intentions but doesn’t understand the impact of his actions.
The only character Lennie has a close relationship to George, who sees him as a burden blocking the way to his American dream. An example of Lennie being misunderstood is when he and George were in Weed, he touched the girls dress because it was soft and it ripped, and then they both had to leave as Lennie was accused of attempted rape. In the book Lennie is discriminated against Crooks. Crooks takes advantage of Lennie’s lack of metal capacity, Crooks was subjected to racial hatred as the hands of white people and uses Lennie to get back at them. Crooks implies that George won’t come back and he’ll be alone. Lennie is treated differently because the other men don’t understand him as little was known about mental illness during the time.
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