Mentalism In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1261 Words 6 Pages
In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men there is a lot of symbolism and representationalism that symbolizes and represents different prejudicial themes. The prejudicial themes are racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and mentalism. One prejudicial theme that I noticed over and over again throughout the course of this book was mentalism. Mentalism is a huge prejudicial theme throughout the course of the story and I noticed it many times while people were talking about Lennie or talking to Lennie. Other ways were how Steinbeck portrayed Lennie throughout the course of the story. How he portrayed Lennie is the first example of mentalism I will talk about.
Steinbeck never comes out and says that Lennie has a mental disorder or is mentally challenged.
…show more content…
He is not spoken to like a normal man. He is spoken to like he is slow. An example of this in the book is when George says to Lennie, “Good boy! That’s fine, Lennie! Maybe you’re gettin’ better. When we get the coupla acres I can let you tend the rabbits all right. ‘Specially if you remember as good as that.”(Steinbeck, 8) He talks to him in a way that is not natural. He says to Lennie, “Good Boy!” I have never heard someone say that to another human. I have heard people say that to dogs before but never to a human being. I take from this that Lennie is mentally challenged and needs to be spoken to in a slow and understandable way for him to comprehend what is being said to him. This is not the only time this happens. George tells Lennie that once they get to the ranch that Lennie should not say anything and let George do all of the talking. He keeps having to ask Lennie what he is going to do when they get there so Lennie will not forget. From this a reader can infer that Lennie is not very smart and because of that his memory is not good and he can not remember things as well as a normal man. Another way that Steinbeck hints at Lennie being mentally challenged is that he likes soft …show more content…
The final example of Lennie liking soft things came in the barn when Lennie finds himself talking to Curley’s wife. As they are talking Curley 's wife talks about how soft her hair is. Lennie starts to pet her head and keeps petting harder and harder and it gets to the point where he is petting her hair so hard she begins to scream and yell and at this point Lennie panics and shakes her and breaks her spine. This seems to happen a lot to Lennie. When mice would bite him he would panic and pinch their heads crushing their skulls. When the dog bit him he smacked the dog and killed the dog. Finally with Curley 's Wife she started to scream and Lennie did not know what to do and killed her by shaking her so hard. This leads me to my next point which is how Lennie does not know his own

Related Documents