How Are Steinbeck’s Views on the Inequalities in Society Shown in of Mice and Men? Essay

707 WordsApr 13, 20153 Pages
In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck shows the inequalities in society which existed in America during the Great Depression.The Great Depression lead to lots of people loosing life savings when companies and banks went bust. Farmers were forced to move off their land because they couldn’t repay the bank-loans which had helped buy the farms and had to sell what they owned to pay their debts because of a series of droughts in southern mid-western states. Ranch hands like George and Lennie were lucky to have work. Ranch hands were grateful for at least a bunk-house to live in and to have food provided, even though the pay was low. The theme of inequality is conveyed by Steinbeck in Of Mice and Men through many characters and contexts. Inequality is evident through Lennie, Curley’s wife, Crooks and Candy in the forms of prejudice against mental disability, sexism, racism and ageism. Lennie is huge and lumbering and, in many ways, the opposite of George Milton. Where George has sharp features and definite lines, Lennie is "shapeless." Often he is described in terms of animals. He lumbers like a bear and has the strength of a bear, but his actions are often described like those of a dog. Lennie's personality is like that of a child. He is innocent and mentally handicapped with no ability to understand abstract concepts like death. Curley's wife is the only female character in the story, She is never given a name and is only mentioned in reference to her husband. The men on the farm refer to her as a “tramp,” a “tart,” and a “looloo.” Dressed in fancy, feathered red shoes, she represents the temptation of female sexuality in a male-dominated world. Steinbeck depicts Curley’s wife not as a villain, but rather as a victim. Like the ranch-hands, she is desperately lonely and has broken dreams of a better life. Crooks, the black stable-hand, gets his name from his crooked

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