Ageism In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Another form of discrimination Steinbeck portrays is ageism. Ageism is defined as “...stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.” (“Ageism”). The main victim of ageism in Of Mice and Men is Candy, the Skinner, who is an elderly man who hurt is hand in an accident and is not fit for most jobs on the ranch. Ageism can affect the youth and the elderly, and anyone in between, but during the Great Depression, it mostly affected the elderly. They were seen as useless and as extra mouths to feed. Candy faces the endless fear that the boss will fire him once he loses his worth on the farm. Candy’s fears are portrayed when Carlson shoots his old dog because the dog is too old to be of use. He tells Lennie…show more content…
It is supposed to be a place where everyone has the same chance at a career or an education. It is supposed to be a place without discrimination or hate and where everyone can accomplish their dream, hence the phrase American Dream. This is not how it is though. Both now and during the Great Depression, when the book Of Mice and Men took place, everyone has trouble reaching their American Dream, but no one like the minorities and the victims of discrimination. The elderly, the women, the people of color. They all face discrimination and it makes a hard task, achieving their American Dream, almost impossible. Curley’s Wife, Candy, and Crooks all have an American Dream, but they never achieve it. They all want a simple life where they are treated with respect and allowed to support themselves. None of them get what they want. Curley’s wife ends up dead and Candy and Crooks end up with nowhere to go but back to the ranch and a life where they are hated and shunned. All because of something they cannot control, their gender, their age, and their race. Everyone deserves an equal chance at their dream, but that is not how life works. Both now and in the 1930’s, the minories face challenges that others do not. Despite knowing that they would probably never reach their dreams, they persevered. The American Dream is something that must be worked for. Some people have to work twice as hard as others, but that does not mean they will never earn what they deserve. Just because the American Dream seems impossible does not mean that it is. Of Mice and Men is a cruel reminder of the fact that the American Dream is a difficult goal, but it also shows readers that they should never stop working toward their goals, no matter what challenges they
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