Cruelty In Of Mice And Men

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Of Cruelty and Slaughter
Of Mice And Men is a classic novella written by author John Steinbeck, who is renowned for his mastery of realistic and imaginative writings. He is most well known for his novelette, Of Mice And Men, a story which follows George Milton and Lennie Small, two traveling laborers who work in order to make money to purchase their own farm. George, characterized as smart and having a one-track mind, while Lennie is slow but friendly. This book, considered a classic by many, however, the book sheds light on topics that deemed distasteful or abhorrent by many. Though Steinbeck is protected by the First Amendment, his most noteworthy work, Of Mice And Men, should be barred from the education system because, it displays ableism,
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This rank is fairly and justly founded on the basis that many individuals and groups have come out to denounce the book. Even from the beginning, the reader is aware that Lennie, is characterized as not as intellectually apt as the rest of the characters. George, the cohort, friend, and caretaker of Lennie stated that before he and Lennie were friends, he would play cruel jokes and pranks on him; “I used to have a hell of a lot of fun with 'im. Used to play jokes on 'im 'cause he was too dumb to take care of 'imself. But he was too dumb even to know he had a joke played on him” (Steinbeck 19). The pinnacle of his former cruelty is when George inadvertently causes the near death of Lennie by asking him to jump in the river knowing that Lennie would willingly comply. This cruelty towards the obviously mentally disabled Lennie is a point brought up in many court cases from the 90’s, including a case from 1993, where the book was cited as an inappropriate English curriculum assignment because of, “profane language, moral statement, treatment of the retarded, and the violent ending” (“Censorship History of Of Mice and Men (Novel)” ). The parents rightfully brought this injustice to the courts, as no individual should be treated in the way that George treated Lennie. These actions are not a good example for young, impressionable readers, nor are they…show more content…
Though Steinbeck uses the word 17 times, he uses it in situations which have characters using the word with contempt. “Where the hell is that God damn nigger?” (Steinbeck 14). By using the word with anger, it exhibits a sense of hatred and bigotry both qualities which should not be tolerated nor taught to youths in school. The use of that word, really any racial slur, shouldn’t be relayed to students. Not only is the use of racial slurs like the ones used in the book rude, but also have effects on ones psychological health. “Ethnicity and Health in America Series” is raising awareness about the physiological and psychological impact of racism and discrimination as it relates to stress” (Physiological & Psychological Impact of Racism and Discrimination for African-Americans).Seeing as ones school environment May contribute to stress, racial slurs from books should not be allowed to contribute to it. Though the word ‘nigger’ is used as an insult to those os African-American descent, it also conjures unsettling feelings to both teachers and students of all
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