Intellectual Disability In The Novel 'Of Mice And Men'

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“Only 50 years ago persons with intellectual disabilities were scorned, isolated and neglected. Today, they are able to attend school, become employed and assimilate into their local community” (Nelson Mandela). Prior to the later part of the 20th century people with intellectual disabilities were often ridiculed, treated unfairly, feared, and locked away in institutions. According to Rhonda Nauhaus and Cindy Smith in their article Disability Rights through the Mid-20th Century, The laws of any nation reflect its societal values. The real life issue of discrimination towards people with intellectual disabilities in the United States and Australia is demonstrated in the novel, Of Mice and Men by showing how this issue affects one of the main characters, Lennie Smalls.

Lennie Smalls one of the main characters in the novel of Mice and Men, is impacted by the human rights issue of discrimination and living with an intellectual disability. “Intellectual Disability, formerly referred to as "mental retardation, is characterized by "significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills” (Death Penalty Info). Lennie exhibits several signs of having an Intellectual disability, for example, he has problems remembering things. George is constantly giving Lennie directions that he has to repeat several times to help him remember. The Inability to connect actions with consequences is another sign.

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