Suffering In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, illustrates almost all of humanity’s suffering in 100 short pages. Many of the themes Steinbeck discusses have to do with goals, dreams, companionship, loss, loneliness, and other related topics. Each character seems to have his or her own troubles, troubles that are felt by countless others in real life. Steinbeck proves in this novel, using several of the characters, that loneliness has extremely impactful consequences that can shatter the very spirit of a person. Crooks is an example of one of these characters, since he is separated from all the other characters and discriminated against due to his race. Crooks represents man’s lack of identity when deprived of company, and Steinbeck uses him to show that …show more content…
Since the other workers were so racist to him, he has anger and bitterness building up inside him. They hardly ever let him go into the bunks where the rest of the men slept. The one time they did- on Christmas- they let “little skinner name of Smitty [take] after him”(20). The men let one of their own simply attack Crooks. As he recounts this moment, Candy- another character in the novel- “pause[s] in relish of the memory”(20). Not only did they let Smitty attack Crooks, they watched it as a form of entertainment; they enjoyed watching Crooks suffer. This certainly causes him great anger. When he meets Lennie, he sees it as an opportunity to take out his anger. Lennie is a weak target, and Crooks exploits that by posing to him his worst nightmare: losing George. While tormenting Lennie with fear, Crooks’ “face light[s] with pleasure at his torture”(71). Crooks enjoys being cruel to Lennie. This is not normal at all. Most people would feel bad for Lennie, because he is mentally challenge. However, because of racism, Crooks has lost that part of humanity, and is capable of horrible acts of cruelty.
By reading the novel Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, one can see that loneliness, rejection, sadism and racism are all intertwined. One can be the cause of another, and, similarly, can be caused by another. They all have other consequences as well, the most obvious in the novel being loss of personality. This novel shows the reader that loneliness and its consequences are an inevitable part of life, because human nature contradicts itself: humans tend to reject those who are different than them, but at the same time want to be accepted for their

Related Documents