The Great Depression In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Of Mice and Men

The 1930s in the United States of America were a hard time, first to the people and then to the government and economy. For this short period of time, the United States was not the welcoming land of abundance that it was usually perceived as. Instead the social and economic burdens caused a large majority of the people, more than what the nation had ever seen, to suffer from obstacles that limited their capability. Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men shows that the misery of the Great Depression ultimately led to discrimination directed to women, African Americans, and the mentally challenged.

Curley’s wife is forced into a state of loneliness and desperation solely for being a woman. Despite marrying an authority figure
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Because of the injustice he faced throughout his life, he has turned proud and bitter. When discussing the future farm that George, Lennie, and Candy want to share, Crooks scorns, “I seen too many guys with land in their head. They never get none under their hand.” The three rach workers dream of better days where their own labor produces their own goods. Crooks, on the other hand, understands that the chance of true freedom and right for him and all colored men are very slim. He knows that he will be dependent all of his life, first for his race, and then because of his crooked back. Because of the lifelong prejudice that he was forced to struggle through, he feels justified to belittle their dream with his little anecdotes and disparaging words. “I seen it happen too many times,” he repeats, in order to affirm his statements and denounce the other’s dream. Crooks counters the injustice brought to him by treating others with the same kind of injustice that he had to endure, It is only when Candy reveals how close they are to the dream that Crooks wants to be part of this plan. Even though he outwardly shows disdain and annoyance to them, he is secretly glad to have the rare and unusual company, even from two unrealizing men. It is only when Curley’s wife comes that he loses all of his attitude. Although he has been able to appease society for the time being, he knows what others can do to him if he makes one wrong move. After Curley’s wife tells him about how fast she can get him hanged, Steinbeck writes, “Crooks stared hopelessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew into himself.” Crooks loses his attitude that he displays toward Lennie and George prior to her coming. Crooks shrinks into himself and is reminded of his status as an outcast, on the ranch and

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