Mental Disabilities In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Imagine if you were working very hard on a ranch and you only got paid $50 a month. Well, this was the life during the Great Depression. In John Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men, George Milton, a ranch worker and one of the main protagonists, is a small, wiry, quick-witted man. He has to take care of his friend Lennie Small, a mentally disabled man who has the perception and social skills of a 5-year-old. However, Lennie is exceptionally strong and he is very hard-working on the ranch. While working on the ranch, they meet Candy, a swamper who lost one of his hands in a farm accident. He spent most of his life on the ranch living with his dog, who is blind, stinky, and can barely walk. As the novella progresses, the reader will observe …show more content…

Lennie has a mental disability that makes him have the mind of a 5-year-old, and Candy’s dog has a physical disability, which makes him barely able to walk. When Lennie and George are talking to the boss, George says, “He got kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid. He’s awright. Just ain’t bright. But he can do anything you tell him” (22). This quote explains that George was lying about how Lennie got his disability, just so he can make the boss think that he was not born unintelligent. It reveals that George really wants the job, so he tries to make him and Lennie great candidates for the position. On the other hand, Candy’s dog has been living with Candy for a very long time, but can’t live much longer due to his poor health. When George and Lennie see Candy’s dog for the first time, the author describes him as, “And at his heels there walked a dragfooted sheepdog, gray of muzzle, and with pale, blind old eyes” (24). The dog is characterized as being very old, dragfooted, and having very old eyes. The way the author describes the dog can give a clear picture of how the dog looks like, and how he has had a big impact on Candy’s life. Despite the fact that both relationships have a significant number of similarities, they are different since Lennie and Candy’s dog both have different disabilities which have different impacts on how George and Candy live their

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