Prejudice In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1112 words - 4 pages

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” This quote, once said by E. B. White, excellently states what the novel, Of Mice and Men, is trying to clearly state. Of Mice and Men is a profound novel that has many things to teach society. This novel, written by John Steinbeck, reflects many flaws in the world today. It mirrors many of the characteristics that every human possesses. Prejudice is still a common way of thinking in today’s society, and to the people who feel victimized, it can be hard to overcome. Curley’s wife, Lennie, and Crooks all deal with prejudice against themselves different ways.
Curley’s wife is what we in modern day might call a “tease”, but there is more to her than just looks. The ranch workers do say thinks like, “well, I think Curley’s married… a tart,” (28). Curley’s wife, who never is given a name, is criticized before she has spoken one word. She is considered “promiscuous” right off the bat. Although, she is not, the workers on the ranch tend to think that she is attempting to flirt with them. They claim that “She got the eye… I seen her give Slim the eye.” Curley’s wife only acts this way because she trying to fix the void between her and Curley with someone else. Part of the distance between Curley’s wife and Curley is that his wife does not care for him the way he cares for her. She claims that she “wasn’t gonna stay no place where [she] couldn’t get nowhere or make something of [her]self, so [she] married Curley,” (88). When she says this, she implies that she settled for Curley when she could have been a huge star. She walks around the ranch telling people “’I’m to find Curley, Slim.’ ‘Well you ain’t tryin’ very hard. I seen him goin’ in your house’” (31-32). They know that she really is not looking for Curley. She represents herself not as a well respected woman, but a tease. She mocks all “the weak ones” (77) yet, in the end, confides in the weakest and dumbest of all of the workers: Lennie. Curley’s wife tells Lennie all of her feelings, such as she could have been famous once and be put in pictures. She tells Lennie that he’s “nuts, but [he] is a nice kinda fella. Jus’ like a big baby” (90). In this scene, she is almost opening herself to Lennie, not some girl all the men cannot stop staring at. She actually exposes a caring person.
Lennie is the gentlest person anyone could meet, he just sometimes cannot remember if he has met them or not. Lennie’s exterior is a rugged, burley kind of guy, but in this book, he is just a big teddy bear who would never dream of hurting anyone. Yet again, looks can be deceiving. Although he is willing to pick up a dead mouse so he could “pet it with [his] thumb while [they] walked along (6), there are people that are incredibly intimidated by him and his strength. For instance, Curley wanted to beat George up mainly because he was bigger than he was. Even though people associate with him, they don’t treat him like one of their...

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