Social Issues In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, all the characters have their own unique ways of showing who they are through their sayings and actions. Each character has a different social identity, which oppresses them in some kind of way, making them lonely. In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses the lonesomeness of each character to convey that people suffer from their own type of loneliness based on their social identity.
One of the characters, Candy, was not lonely to start. However, once he lost the only thing keeping him from being lonely, happy was his dog,Well-hell! I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup(56). Candyr’s loneliness was something he hadn’t seen in a while, but once it came to him, he wanted to figure out a way out of it. Candy realized that the loneliness has come back around to him and he tells George that Jus as soon as I cant swamp out no bunkhouses theyll put me on the county (60). To try and escape his loneliness, Candy started to become invested in George and Lennier’s big dream so he wouldnt end up having to face the future all by himself. Spose I went in with you guys. Thar’s three hundred an fifty bucks Id put in. I aint much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. Howd that be? (59). He was very attached to the idea of the farm with George and Lennie, and kept pushing to have the farm even after what had happened with Lennie later in the story. The farm would have helped wipe out his fear of being alone, and it would have created another relationship worth cherishing like his past relationship with his dog. His position in society, being old, had forced him to develop a mindset to break away from his inevitable loneliness.
Even with all the attention she asked for and received, Curleyr’s wife didnt actually have anyone in the end. Curleyr’s wife expressed how lonely she really was when she was talking to Lennie, I tell you I ain’t used to livin’ like this. I coulda made somethin’ of myself(89). She didnt like who she had become and it was almost like she was running away from who she was. By doing that she found herself in a position where nobody truly cared for her and the only thing that got her places was her appearance. The only person that Curleyr’s wife could truly talk to was Lennie, because he was not conscious of what she was saying and she knew he would forget. In her last moments with Lennie, she finally felt like she was being listened to. For the first time ever, she confessed that I don like Curley. He aint a nice fella (89). When she finally became susceptible and vulnerable to her humanity, she ironically died shortly after. Curleyr’s wife is a perfect example of the oppression against the women and the sexism in this era that often resulted in isolation.
One of the biggest issues in this time was racism, which Crooks was a victim of. He was physically disconnected from the other men, and because of that, and the racial inequality, he had very limited contact with others as well. Instead of friendships, he occupied himself with books. Still, he had admitted that Books aint no good, and A guy needs somebody to be near him. A guy goes nuts when if he aint got nobody (72). Unlike Candy and Curleyr’s Wife, Crooks had to just accept his role in society because he knew that the color of his skin would never change, making him powerless in the field of oppressive forces of racism. He was fully aware that he was treated as if he was less important than the other men. This is just a nigger talkin, an a busted-back nigger. So it dont mean nothing, see? (71). He knew he didnt have a voice in society so he kept to himself. The harsh reality of this era deprived Crooks from being treated like a real human. His acceptance of the situation amplified his loneliness, making him the loneliest character in the story.
Candy, Curleyr’s wife, and Crooks were three of the characters who represented the loneliness and isolation brought on by what their social identity was in this time. All these characters faced social issues like ageism, sexism, and racism which added on to their loneliness. Each character had recognized their loneliness in some type of way, and depending on what their situation or role in society was, they took specific actions to cope with it or fight it. Something Steinbeck made clear was that the loneliness caused by discrimination does significantly impact oner’s behavior, mindsets, and actions. So for the people who do deal with loneliness, deal with it in their own type of ways based on their social identity.
Located in Boston Massachusetts, during the 17th century, the Scarlet Letter begins with a gathering of Puritan colonists around a local prison. The colonists in the story seem to be […]
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1904 in Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne is one of the great American authors of the 19th Century. He was a romantic and had a […]
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne shows the effects of sin on a person’s heart and mind, and how a person’s undoing may be caused by hidden guilt and fragility […]
Nathaniel Hawthorn is one of the most famous writers in the world. He uses vivid words, stunning details and amazing symbolism to express the point of the story along with […]
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in the 1800s but takes place in the 1600s; it is a fictional story that exemplifies the power of sin and shame […]
The human mind and the morals of any individual person, no matter how good and pure, can usually be swayed by the power of temptation and emotions. Sin, especially, is […]
What about a novel where the purest of heart is ruthlessly punished? What version of morality is Steinbeck advocating for? A clear extraction from all of his narrative decisions is […]
Intro John Steinbeck was born in 1902, in Salinas, California, the setting of this novel. From The Grapes of Wrath to Cannery Row, he has given American Ethos memorable portraits […]
Circumstances can only shape a person’s life to the extent that they allow them to. The truth is that people’s lives are determined by their choices not their circumstances. This […]
In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, all the characters have their own unique ways of showing who they are through their sayings and actions. Each character has a […]