Disabilities within Of Mice and Men
In the short story Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, there are many themes and literary elements that circulate around the two main characters George and Lennie. One of the most important themes in this short story is the presence of disabilities within the characters. These disabilities represent the significance of how during the Great Depression many people who had disabilities were said to be an added cost or “weaknesses”. Most characters are illustrated with some form of disability that enables them or makes it difficult to accomplish certain goals while also working against them in the environment in which they live in.
The first character we ...view middle of the document...
This shows that the disability that Lennie has is a weakness in this society.
Another character with a disability is the old ranch hand Candy. He has two main disabilities one being the injury that occurred with his hand in some sort of accident while the other is his old age. “When they can me here I wisht somebody'd shoot me. But they won't do nothing like that. I won't have no place to go, an' I can't get no more jobs” (60). Candy feels like this because he is of old age and crippled. He finds it difficult to look toward the future where he feels that he will soon be considered usless. The shooting of Candy’s dog represents the way Candy feels about himself and symbolizes the way he feels he will soon be viewed as. “"You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn't no good to himself nor nobody else” (60). He feels that the dog will be him soon, sooner or later the men he works with will feel the way about him that they felt about the dog and won’t want him around anymore. Candy is scared to not have a place in the world soon because of his age, showing that his age in a weakness in this society.
The next character with a physical and social disability, which causes him to feel as if he is out of place in the world, is the stable hand Crooks. He is known as “Crooks” because a horse kicked him in the back which caused him to have a crooked back.
However, as Crooks explains to Lennie, he has another characteristic which can be considered a disability; the color of his skin. Crooks tells Lennie, “I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain't wanted in my room." "Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black” (72). Since Crooks is treated differently due to his skin color, his race functions as a disability to him. In fact Crooks is aurally shocked when Lennie comes into his...