How Does Steinbeck Present The Theme Of Prejudice In Of Mice And Men

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"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck is a remarkable short novel that delves into the lives of two itinerant ranch workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, as they navigate the challenges and dreams of the Great Depression era. Published in 1937, Steinbeck's book resonates with readers by addressing pressing issues in society, such as the pursuit of the American Dream, the pervasive loneliness and isolation experienced by individuals, the inherent human need for companionship, the destructive nature of prejudice, and the delicate and ephemeral nature of dreams and innocence. Steinbeck manages to carefully weave together these themes to create a powerful narrative that explores the complexities of American life as a whole. One of the central …show more content…

Steinbeck depicts various forms of discrimination, including racism, ableism, and sexism, which were prevalent in a lot of America’s history. The character of Curley's wife highlights the sexism prevalent in the ranch environment. She is portrayed as a symbol of unfulfilled dreams and unfulfilled potential. She is denied agency and is treated as an object. She seeks connection and attention from the other men on the ranch. However, her attempts to establish meaningful relationships are met with suspicion and hostility because she tries to get that attention through flirting. This is possibly because she never gets that affection from Curley. Another thing to note is that in the book Curley’s wife’s name is never revealed, furthermore showing how undervalued she is as a person. When she confides in Lennie about her shattered dreams, she says, "I tell you I ain't used to livin' like this. I coulda made somethin' of myself" (Steinbeck, 89). This quote exposes the damaging consequences of prejudice and the limited opportunities that women had during that time. Crooks, the African American stable hand, represents the racial prejudice that characterized the era. Isolated from the other ranch workers and forced to live in a separate room, Crooks experiences both physical and emotional segregation. When Lennie enters his room, Crooks reveals his experiences of …show more content…

The characters' aspirations often clash with the harsh realities of their circumstances, leading to great disappointment and disillusion. The dream shared by George and Lennie of owning their own piece of land is an idealized vision of a better life. This dream provides them with a sense of purpose and a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak and greedy world where money is the thing everything revolves around. However, as the story progresses, the dream begins to unravel. George is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision in the face of Lennie's actions against Curley’s wife, ultimately leading to the dissolution of their shared dream and their friendship. Innocence cannot survive in the American society depicted by Steinbeck. Lennie, who represents innocence, is killed at the hands of George. This final action in the book illustrates the harsh reality that dreams and innocence can be fleeting and easily destroyed by the complexities of

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