The Great Depression of the 1930’s was a worldwide phenomenon that was a tough time for people. During this time black people and women in America have been forced to live through poor social conditions.
In John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, the characters Crooks and Curley’s wife have similar traits even though one character is a black male and the other, a white woman. They both face loneliness, discrimination, and shattered dreams which makes Crooks and Curley’s wife comparable. The most noticeable difference is that Curley`s wife is a women and Crooks is a black male. Curley’s wife is put on the spot and given value because of who she is and her gender also because she is Curley’s wife. She is given the attention of the men because they don’t dare to say anything to her and they fear that they will be accused of flirting with her. She is treated like an object to be possessed. She feels like she has authority. Listen, Nigger, she said. You know what I can do to you if you open your trap? Crooks stared hopelessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew into himself. Crooks, on the other hand, has worth and value for other reasons and at least he has a name. Crooks is knownby his job on the farm. For him, we see his permanent status in the items he has gathered over time. He enjoys reading books. Crookshas his own room which could further give him importance, but he sees it as being separated from the other ranch workers. Crooks said sharply, You got no right to come into my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.
This shows the most significant difference and how Curley’s wife has authority but no name and crooks have no authority and no one is scared of him and he is separated from the others and he can’t really do anything about anything because he is black. Crooks and Curley’s wife both suffer from discrimination around the ranch. Curley’s wife does not have a name. She is displayed as only an item of Curley’s. She is not liked by ranch hands as they only see and think of her as a trap which can get them in trouble. Don’t you even take a look at that bitch. I don’t care what she says or what she does. I seen ’em poison before, but I never see no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be.
Also like Curley’s wife, Crooks is discriminated against and treated unfairly in comparison to the other ranch hands. Crooks isn’t called by his real name either he is referred to Crooks because of his back and sometimes as a nigger This is just a nigger talkin’, an’ a busted-back nigger. So it doesn’t mean nothing, see? This is offensive but he is at the bottom so he really has no authority and he gives no dam. His room is different away from the others as they don’t want anything to do with him. Crooks and Curley`s wife both have to face discrimination and both are barely talked to resulting them to feel like being alone.
Crooks and Curley’s wife are both lonely due to the fact ofbeing discriminated and separatedfrom society. This causes Crooks and Curley’s wife to be very lonely. Curley’s wife is found as a trap which can get them in trouble that means she can’t talk to anybody which causes her to be lonely. Curley’s wife is shown to be coming onto the men and this is how she is viewed, though she is simply just trying to talk to the ranch workers to make conversation and overcome her loneliness. Curley’s wife does want to talk to Curley either because she doesn’t like his personality and the way he expresses himself I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely. Crooks, like Curley’s wife, is also lonely he is the only black man in the ranch. Due to his color, his is looked at differently from the other men and has nobody to talk to. S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ’cause you were black. How’d you like that. Crooks loneliness can be identified whenLennie enters Crooks room. First, he gets mad but he lets Lennie stay and enjoys his company. They both have no oneto talk to or share their feelings with, both in some way are discriminated, and this leads both of them to be lonely.
In the novel John Steinbeck has an excellent way of showing how two people who are very different by lookscan be alike due to their color or gender. The similarities and differences are clear in the novel they both express themselves differently but they have similar traits and they both face discrimination, loneliness and shattered dreams which make Crooks and Curley’s wife comparable. They both face challenges every day and face obstacles to not be lonely because of how women and black people were viewed during The Great Depression.
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