Survival Of The Fittest In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

477 Words2 Pages
What first comes to mind when we say survival of the fittest? In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the characters are treated lowly because of their physical and mental disabilities. The world is a jungle of unfairness, in which only the strong survive. Survival of the fittest results in discrimination against the unfit. Candy and his old dog are treated lowly for their physical disabilities. For example, when Carlson complains that the dog is smelly and that he should kill it to stop the dog’s suffering, Slim comments, “Carl’s right, Candy. That dog ain’t no good to himself. I wisht somebody’d shoot me if I got old an’ a cripple” (45). This shows that the humans who have physical advantages, Slim and Carlson, harshly judge those with disabilities, who are represented by Candy’s old dog. Although there…show more content…
In addition, when Candy muses to George and Lennie about how he can contribute to their dream, he says, “Jus as soon as I can’t swamp out no bunk houses they’ll put me on the county” (60). Candy is given a job that is degrading and does not require skill because he is old and has one hand. He is afraid of losing his only job for that reason and wants to get the “dream” ranch, where he will not be discriminated against and he can get the dignity he deserves. Candy and his dog are similar to each other because they are both old and disabled, and because of this, are treated like they are worthless. Lennie’s mental incapability shows that he is not fit to survive in society. For example, during Curley’s wife’s rant to Crooks, Candy, and Lennie in the barn, she says, “…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…” (78). Lennie is associated with the other “weak

More about Survival Of The Fittest In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Open Document