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Discrimination in "Of Mice and Men" by Steinbeck

Discrimination in "Of Mice and Men" by Steinbeck

Discrimination is not just based on skin color, but also on age and gender. A book that shows this is John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, a story about two friends, that have a dream to live on there own farm, Lenny and George, who go to a farm where they see discrimination first hand. The victims of discrimination in this novel are: Crooks, a black stable buck; Curly’s Wife, the farm owner’s neglected daughter-in-law; and Candy, an old, disabled housekeeper.

The most obvious form of discrimination is skin color. Crooks is discriminated because of his skin color. “They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black. They say I stink.”(pg. 34) This quote illustrates how the boys on the farm won’t allow Crooks to play cards because he’s black. They discriminate against him by having him live in a little shack across from the “bunkhouse.” Nobody ever really goes into his shack “…You go on get outa my room. I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse…”(pg. 33). This quote shows how he isn’t allowed to live in the bunkhouse. These incidents clearly prove that Crooks has been discriminated against. Curly’s wife is the only woman on the farm. Everybody makes fun of her. "Know what I think?" George did not answer. "Well, I think Curley's married... a tart." (pg. 14). No one ever wants to talk to her because she’s a woman, “Ain't I got a right to talk to nobody? Whatta they think I am, anyways?” (pg. 43). She’s not aloud to talk to anyone because everybody thinks she’s a tart. They don’t even know what she’s like and they judge her with no evidence. They just think she’s bad because she’s a woman and that’s prejudice. Clearly Curly’s wife is a victim of discrimination.

The Man discriminated by his age is Candy; he’s got a smelly, old, weak dog. The boys at the farm don’t like the dog any more because it’s useless. “…Why'n't you get Candy to shoot his old dog…” (pg. 17) This makes Candy think what will happen if I become useless, will they shoot me to? It makes one wonder, who cares if he’s old and useless he’s a human being and no one has the right to kill another no matter how old they are. They always think he’s unable to do things...

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