The Theme Of Oppression In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Oppression is a weight that restricts one from fulfilling a dream or desire. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, the theme is used to illustrate many ideas of racism, sexism, isolation and oppression of the time period. The novel begins with Lennie and George, two migrant workers that developed a close relationship and rely on each other. The men are chased out of Weed due to an incident caused by Lennie, a strong, and mentally unstable man who often acts like a child. Finding work down south the men are quickly introduced to Candy, an old man who lost his hand, Slim, a skilled ranch hand, Curley, the boss's son who is “handy”, and Crooks, an African American stable buck. George and Slim are quick to start a friendship and George is comfortable with sharing secrets with him. Soon, conflicts arise with Curley, Curley’s wife and Lennie. At this time many individuals are being trapped in a life they feel is inferior. Steinbeck uses the characters of Crook, Curley’s wife, and Lennie to show to that oppression can lead to great suffering and discrimination. One of the characters the author used to support the theme of oppression is Crooks. Since he is the only…show more content…
Curley’s wife aspires to be more than a domestic housewife and claims that she “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes”(89). She expresses her disappointment from her lack of control in her life. Similar to Crooks, she is the only woman on the ranch, so she too is treated as a minority. The men describe her as a “tart”(28), because she is very flirtatious due to Curley's neglection. She is trapped in a loveless marriage and states, “I don’t like Curley. He’s not a nice fella.”(89). Due to her gender the readers can see that she is more like an object rather than a person. In result Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife to illustrate society’s views of women during the time period, as well as others with
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