Of Mice And Men

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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Of Mice and Men In the novel Of Mice and Men, many social injustices, which are reflective of the time, victimize many characters in the novel. John Steinbeck wrote of a time where the economic depression has begun to destroy the spirits of human kind. The injustices portrayed through the characters were accepted at the time, by both the victims and the victimizers. Sexism and Racism were two issues that were touched upon through two secondary characters, " Curley's wife"� and "Crooks."� John Steinbeck expressed sexism through "Curley's wife."� Throughout the novel, her name was not mentioned once to show the insignificance of women at the time. Steinbeck restricted "Curley's wife"� from entering the bunkhouse because she was so disrespected that she was not even allowed into the living space of the "lowly"� workers on the farm. "Curley's wife"� accepted her social deterrent and played it out to save her from her other problem, loneliness.

She tends to dress provocatively and act flirtatiously around the men in the bunkhouse. She sought out the companionship to ease her loneliness caused by Curley treating her as a possession. To her husband, she was another stepping stone to help his own insecurities about his stature.

"Curley's wife"� also found solace in torturing others such as "Crooks."� Crooks was a black man, another worker on the farm. He was treated with coarseness because of his skin color. The others went to the extremity of sending him away to live alone with his books. Crooks was almost completely isolated resulting in him becoming extremely lonesome. In the novel, he admits that any man would go insane without human interaction. The loneliness of the "Crooks"� and " Curley's wife"� brought them together on a negative note. She tormented him, constantly reminding him that he is nothing and will remain nothing because of his color.

In the novel, the loneliness of the characters was caused by the social injustices that they must live by. The injustices have stifled their spirits, made them lose all will to live. They have stopped caring about making life better for themselves. Instead they are now trying to get through their daily lives plain and simple. However in the novel, a spark of hope arises with the new comers "George and Lennie,"� and for a moment, they forgot their problems all to have it come crashing down. Social justice did not exist at the time. This novel reflected this point through two lonely, insignificant characters of a novel.