Of Mice and Men is a novella by John Steinbeck that takes place in the time of the great depression. We see a insight of many individuals roles that struggle in this time. It begins with Lennie and George trying to find work due to Lennie getting them driven out of there last place of work in weed due to his mental disability and not knowing what is right and wrong, in a result to this George is like a parent to lennie and takes care of him. When they arrive at the new ranch we are introduced to new characters such as Curley's wife and Crooks. Curleys wife faces a lot of sexisum and exclousion, As well as Crooks who is isolated in his in room being in African American and suffering from racism. We see a strong representation of marginalization in groups that took place in the 1930s, Steinbeck brought this out in characters such as Lennie, Crooks and Curley’s wife . He also presents isolation and how they venture to escape this isolation.
Crooks is a prime example of the theme marginalization, he is a African American minority in a time of extreme racism, due to this crooks also experiences isolation . We see crooks face these issues when Lennie approaches him in his separate bedroom and begins to have conversation, Crooks begins to tell Lennie how his experiences are and feelings. “ Cause i'm black. They play cards in there, but i can't because i'm black. They think i stink well, i tell you all of them stink to me”( Page 68) . In this quote we see Crooks experience marginalization through the use of pronouns, referring to the rest of the men at the bunkhouse as “they” and himself as “I”. Also how he faces loneliness and isolation he states that he is just because he is black he can not go into the bunkhouse and play cards with the rest of the men, he isolated in his room that is separate from the rest of the men due to the complection of his skin.
Crooks is continually faced with Isolation, We see this occur when he gets upset with Lennie and breaks out into telling him how lonely he is “ I tell ya, he cried, “I tell ya a guy too lonely an’ he gets sick….He can’t turn to some other guy and ask him whether it’s right or not. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by” (73 ). This quote shows isolation of Crooks is what cause is viciousness to Lennie, underscoring what george stated about loners being ‘mean” without human compassion. Furthermore we see Crooks undergo marginalization literally and metaphorically. While he is not wanted and does not fit in with the rest of the workers due to him being black, Crooks is also physically isolated from him due to the fact he is put in his own bedroom.
Sexism is one of the many types of marginalization in the novella “ Of Mice and Men” It is strongly represented through curley’s wife and the way women were portrayed. Curley’s wife was the only women at the ranch, due to that she used her physical attraction to get attention and escape her isolation and we see her use this when she is asking where Curley is to George and Lennie. She smiled archly and twitched her body. ‘ Nobody can’t blame a person for looking’ Curley's wife faces a lot of discrimination the men at the ranch call her disrespectful terms such as ‘tart, ‘rattrap’ and bitch this was common for women in the 1930s who used their sexual appeal for attention. She uses this power of hers because she feels lonely and has no one to converse with. Equally important Curley's wife also talks about her dreams and her chances of being in Hollywood, “ coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes….An’ i coulda sat in them big hoteles, an’ had pitchers took of me….(88). We see Steinbeck portray Curley's wife as a woman who had dreams of being in Hollywood and did not get them. Steinbeck emphasizes how limited and isolated they were in the 1930s.
Lennie is described to be a strong individual, but suffers from a mental illness. Lennie is marginalized due to his mental capabilities being limited. Lennie's character is guided by his friend George, In this quote we see when George gets upset with Lennie he says he would do better on his own and Lennie says “ If you don’ want me i can go off in hills an’ find a cave. I can go away any time”(103) In this quote we see that Lennie is feels isolated because he wants to run away due to George getting upset at him. Lennie is seen marginalized due to the fact that his mental disability and has no power so he would even flee to not cause george anymore trouble.
Lennie is also left alone a lot because george says that he will cause to much trouble if he takes him to town. Lennie is seen going to crooks room due to the fact he was left alone and talks with Crooks. “ Ever’body went into town” he said. Slim an George an ever’body went into town. George says i gotta stay here an’ not gonna get in any trouble”. (68) We see Lennie isolated from the men in the bunkhouse because they dont bring him due to his mental disability and causing trouble. Lennie is marginalized and looked as lower in power because of his mental disability.
In the novella Of Mice and Men we see groups that are marginalized and isolated due to there mental disability, race and also their gender. Linnie is marginalized and isolated due to his mental disability we see this when he is always left alone or when he is looked as lower and not unintelligent. Crooks is also marginalized and isolated due to him being African American and worthless also him being separated from other workers at the ranch . Sexisum is another trait of marginailzatin and it is seen through Curley’s wife when she is very limited to certain things and is portrayed to be a specific way in society. Furthermore all of these individuals try to escape marginalization and isolation but are unsuccessful. In society we can not look down upon people that are mentally unstable, there gender or race, as one humans should be more accepting and equals.
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