Racism In Of Mice And Men

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Of Mice and Men ' was written by John Steinbeck. It is based in the USA in the time period of the nineteen thirties. This was the time of The Great Depression when millions of people were left jobless and many had lost their life savings in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Therefore, for these reasons, many people were forced out of their homes. In the opening line of the novel, Steinbeck mentions the town of Soledad, which means loneliness in Spanish, as the setting for the story that is to follow. This shows the reader that loneliness is an important theme in the novel.

We learn that George and Lennie are itinerant workers because they mention 'goin ' to Murray and Ready 's '; these were a chain of employment agencies set up by the US government,
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At the time the novel was written, racism was common against black people, especially in the USA where the novel is set. Crooks has his own living space which is physically separated from the main bunkhouse. This symbolises the separation of people from each other through racism. He too, admits that he is lonely, 'A guy needs somebody-to be near him...I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an ' he gets sick '.

The scene in Crooks ' room is the setting for all four of the least powerful characters to be seen together. When Crooks realises that Lennie is very dependent on George, he frightens Lennie by suggesting to him that George will not return, 's 'pose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no more '. Crooks is deliberately trying to unsettle Lennie for his own
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Crooks allows Candy into his room, 'you can come in if you want '. This is the first time that Candy has entered Crooks ' room. The racism that affected black people at the time, removed all power from them so that they lived in fear. Curley 's wife bullies and threatens Crooks when he tries to ban her from his room, 'You know what I can do to you if you open your trap '. Here Steinbeck is trying to show how badly black people were treated as Curley 's wife is reminding Crooks, and the reader, that Crooks could be hanged without a trial if she accused him. This is significant as even a woman, who had very little power in the system at the time, could abuse black men without any legal consequences to herself. Candy stands up for Crooks, 'If you was to do that, we 'd tell, ' but Candy then acknowledges that they would not be believed. This shows how lonely and powerless each of the characters are within society as a whole but also that they are also unkind to each other and so will remain isolated and lonely instead of building companionship and solidarity

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