Essay on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Essay on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Discrimination is all around us. It happened in the past, it happens now, and most likely will still happen in the future. But why are people discriminated? It could be because of their race, their gender, their religion, and etc. Of Mice and Men focuses on the struggles of two migrant workers, George and Lennie, in the 1930's as they try to achieve their dream of owning their own land. In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, he reveals through his characterization and conflict that loneliness is the result of discrimination.

Through his characterization, John Steinbeck presents that being isolated is the result of discrimination. In the novel, Crooks and Curley's wife were judged very harshly; they would end up lonely. As an example, Curley's wife does end up even admitting her loneliness to Lennie. Curley's wife says,“All the guys got a horseshoe tenement goin' on. It's on'y about four o'clock. None of them guys is goin' to leave that tenement. Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely” (Steinbeck 86). At that time, women were not seen as equals, only as trophy wives and someone to take care of the kids and do housework. Curley's wife is in fact seen that way and often lures around trying to find someone to talk to instead of just sitting around all day. Often she says that she's “looking” for Curley when in fact, she's just looking for somebody to talk to. Crooks (the stable Buck) is discriminated because of his race. Just because he had darker skin then White Americans at the time, he had been adjudicated and seen as if he were dirt. In a quote, Steinbeck displays Lennie having a conversation with Crooks on the topic of why he isn't wanted. It is shown when Lennie asks,“Why ain't you wanted? Lennie asked. Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black...” (Steinbeck 68). Even though Lennie cared about Crooks, others haven't. At that point in history, African Americans were very much hated because of their small differences. Although African Americans had been free at that time, they were still strongly disliked by most people and definitely treated differently.

The novel shows conflicts between characters that have to deal with discrimination. Sometimes it had been saying words behind others backs or just plain saying the mean things straight to their faces. Some of the conflicts happening in the novel aren't minor; more major. Words are always seen as more hurtful then actions and in Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck clearly shows that someone can be discriminated by the use of words. “Sure. Ya see the stable buck's a n*gger” (Steinbeck 20). Back then, and even now, that word is used to offend African Americans. It can be taken by them as a very hateful word and they would easily get offended. Nowadays, it is used for some slang but people still think it wouldn't offend others and just end up calling them that, and would end up getting in a fight or hurt. A reader may also see how discriminated people were back then. When Curley's wife had been told off by others. “She's gonna make a mess. They's gonna be a bad mess about her. She's a jail bait all set on the trigger. That Curley got his work cut out for him. Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl, 'specially like her” (Steinbeck 51). After reading that, someone can decipher that Curley's wife was being discriminated against. Mostly seen just as a trophy wife and useless.

To conclude, discrimination has been around for a very long time and sometimes others have to think how the people feel when being discriminated against. In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, he reveals through his characterization and conflict that loneliness is the result of
discrimination. Sometimes it's hard to be discriminated against. You get called mean names, you get punished for no reason, you get hurt, and most of the people around you don't like you. Whether it could be because of your race, your religion, if you are a man or woman, or even if you have the slightest difference than someone else. Discrimination is always and probably forever will be around the world. The only thing is to just deal with it for now and hope for a better future.