Analysis Of Mental Impairment In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Of Mice and Mental Impairment Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a fiction novella set in the time of the Great Depression. It follows George Milton and Lennie Small, two itinerant workers with the same dream; they hope to someday get a farm of their own. However, Lennie has a severe mental disability, so George constantly has to tend to Lennie and help him get out of messes. In the novel, George and Lennie travel to their new job on a ranch in Salinas Valley, California. There, they encounter many different characters with their own shortcomings, whether mental, physical, or social. Each character and their handicap together represent a specific theme in the novel. Crooks is the African-American man who works in the stables of the farm. He got kicked by a horse many years ago, resulting in his crooked back. While his back is indeed a physical defect that hinders him, but the thing that segregates him from the others is his race. Crooks isn’t allowed to sleep in the bunkhouse or play cards with the white men. He gets lonely and resentful from having to stay in the barn all the time. When he is talking to Lennie, he says, “‘S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse or play rummy…show more content…
Lennie has the most obvious handicap, since it greatly affects his ability to function. Lennie has the mental capacity of a child, and he can’t take care of himself. Lennie loves to “pet” things, but he is unaware of his own strength. This results in a dead mouse, puppy, and eventually, woman! Lennie is enthralled by the idea of living on a farm with George, and he uses this picture-perfect image almost as a moral guide. Lennie constantly fears that his actions will anger George, who will then punish him by taking away his rabbit-managing privileges. During the debacle with Curley's wife, he says “‘George gonna say I done a bad thing. He gonna ain’t gonna me tend no rabbits’”(91). Lennie represents innocence and
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