Essay on "Of Mice and Men"

In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses stereotypes and discrimination to convey a message
of how the characters feel. A lot of the stereotypes and clich?s are just common beliefs of the times, but a
few are situational. To quote a quite distinguished reader, "Characters are ?trapped?- either by what others
think of them, or by their situation." A lot of the character?s feelings about themselves and what others
think of them will lead to loneliness.

Crooks is a character who is mistreated in many ways because he is black. Crooks is the stable buck of
the barn. It?s not certain whether Crooks is his name, or his nickname, but we know he got kicked in the
back by a horse and had a crooked back ever since. Nevertheless he gets yelled at by the boss every time
something?s wrong. " ?The boss gives him hell when he?s mad. But the stable buck don?t give a damn
about that,? " says Candy, p.32. Crooks also isn?t allowed in the bunk houses because people say he stinks.
Crooks talks with Lennie in the book, "Crooks laughed again. ?A guy can talk to you an? be sure you won?t
go blabbin?." p.78. This most likely makes Crooks feel not wanted at all, Which roots to loneliness.

Lennie is not so much stereotyped, but rather trapped because of his size. Because Lennie is so big,
Curley thinks he has to prove something by beating up Lennie. Lennie gets on Curley?s bad side when he
didn?t do anything wrong. Lennie is then forced to fight. " ?I don?t want no trouble,? he said plaintively.
?Don?t let him sock me, George.? " p.32. This is not an everyday discrimination like racism. It?s one of
those circumstantial incidents that was described in quote in the introduction. This is an excellent example
of how John Steinbeck uses extraordinary circumstances to create appeal and realism to the reader.

Curley?s wife is probably the most loathed on the ranch. Because of the way she looks and acts, people
think she is easy, or a "tart". " ?Jesus, what a tramp,? he said. ?So that?s what Curley picks for a wife.? "
said George, p.35. She just wants someone to talk to. Guys on the ranch don?t like her because they think
she?ll get them in trouble. They make judgments without getting to know her first. Curley, her husband,
doesn?t trust her with the other ranch hands. She was just out of place on that ranch, And because of that,
must have been a real lonely person with lonely feelings.

George is stereotyped in a mild, but serious way. People think that because of the way he keeps Lennie
out of trouble and travels with him, George is taking his pay from him. " ?Say?what you sellin??? ?Huh??
I said what stake you got in this guy? You takin? his pay away from him?? " said the Boss in the beginning
of the book, p.25. This is another unusual stereotype. Because it seems like nothing, the reader doesn?t get
it unless they think about it. It sounds like no big deal at first, but to be called a liar and a cheat is a very
heavy feeling to bear.

Stereotypes make up a lot of this novel. If someone took out the stereotypical statements, the
symbolism and "the dream", what they?d have left are page numbers.

Grade Received on Report : 96%