Racism In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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During the early 1930s, after a series of unfortunate events that caused the Great Depression, America’s economy plummeted. This in turn caused difficulties from severe unemployment to widespread poverty in the United States. Racial discrimination was not uncommon because tensions between opposing races skyrocketed after the abolishment of slavery. Prejudice because of gender was a usual everyday thing; women recently received the right to vote along with working paying jobs. However, women were still treated like property and dirt. John Steinbeck’s book Of Mice and Men was set during the Great Depression, where it featured two protagonists through their journey to achieve their dreams. Nevertheless, the minor supporting characters were the…show more content…
Crooks is an African American stable hand working on a predominantly white male orientated farm. Racism was noticeable during the 1930s that as the only black male on the ranch; he suffered from isolation, as the other ranch hands did not include him in most activities. “Crooks, the Negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn” and another example would be when the ranch hands went to Old Suzy’s and Curley’s wife said “Ever’body out doin’ som’pin….An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs- a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep-…” (Steinbeck 33, 38). From the start because of his race Crooks lives away from all the other ranch hands in a whole separate shed. Then, when the other ranch hands leave to go to Old Suzy’s place they leave behind Crooks, Lennie, and Candy. The ranch hands decided to not include Crooks in most of the countless activities they did together because of his race. For a black male in the 1930s to go to a saloon where predominantly white males would hang out is rare and uncommon. After being on the ranch and suffering from social isolation for years Crooks personality could now be seen as twisted. “…Crooks takes advantage of his slow-wittedness, torturing him with talk of George’s never returning and Lennie’s being locked up in a booby…show more content…
Curley’s wife, when first introduced, dresses like a femme fatale with alluring looks but, this is all a mask she wears to hide the loneliness she feels from Curley’s blatant disregard of her and the other ranch hands unkindness. “She admits that her husband provides little companionship and because she has no female companionship, she turns to the men.…Curley’s wife may come on to the men as playful and seductive, but she is acutely aware of the hostile reception she is receiving from them” (Spilka 361-362). First, as the only woman on a ranch full of men, Curley’s wife has no one to socialize with, so she was already alone from the start. Then, after marrying Curley and expecting endearments but only for him to outright ignore her, she gets disappointed. But, the crowning moment is when she turns to the ranch hands for affection after Curley does not show her the affection she craved. Instead, she is met with hatred from the ranch hands because they assume she is bad trouble, further spiraling her into isolation from everyone on the ranch. After being isolated from everyone on the farm Curley’s wife resorts to being horrible and cruel to Crooks, desperate to gain a sense of superiority after being victimized for being a woman. “She can only assert herself by spewing racial venom

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