• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Of Mice and Men - From your reading of the novel so far comment on the way in which the theme of prejudice is presented.

Extracts from this document...


Of Mice and Men From your reading of the novel so far comment on the way in which the theme of prejudice is presented. Prejudice is an important theme in 'Of Mice and Men' and is shown in different ways throughout the novel. There are some obvious cases of it being in effect and also some subconscious prejudices. Crooks has been, according to his soliloquy during chapter 4 when he speaks to Lennie, discriminated against all of his life. He has spent most of his life alone as there was only one other coloured family remotely near to them. This has created an almost hermit-like lifestyle for Crooks. He only socializes with the other men on the ranch when they make him fight or play horseshoes. Crooks never has anybody to confide in or speak to unlike all the other men on the ranch and whenever he says anything its, "...just a nigger talkin', an' a busted-back nigger. So it don't mean nothing..." Whenever anybody makes any reference to Crooks they rarely use the name "Crooks" which may be a nickname given to him because of his bent back but usually call him "nigger". This means that he is even discriminated against when people are trying to talk to him or be kind to him because they subconsciously refer to him by his colour. ...read more.


Curley's Wife is prejudiced against on a number of levels. The men are all wary of her and their fear comes out in discrimination as they call her a 'tart', 'looloo' and 'jailbait' but they also show their prejudice by never referring to her by her actual name. Her name is never revealed throughout the book and the fact that everyone calls her 'Curley's Wife' must remind of her missed opportunities and aspirations of being a well known filmstar with her name up in lights as opposed to an oppressed wife with no name. On a ranch full of men Curley's Wife has no-one to confide in properly and is obviously frustrated by her husband and lifestyle. This frustration is evident when, after being rebuffed by Lennie, Candy and Crooks, she flies into a rage with a long outburst where she shows her anger with her husband and the ranch saying, "Think I'm gonna stay ni that two-by-four house and listen to how Curley's gonna lead with his left twice, then bring in the ol' right across?". The men on the ranch are not only wary of her because they don't come into contact with women, the only ones they know are from the brothel, but also because she has great power. ...read more.


Curley may have this prejudice for a number of reasons. Being the son of the boss he is treated differently and he may feel that to gain everyone's full respect he has to prove himself and the biggest guy is the hardest fight. He might be jealous of Lennie's natural strength and is overly aggressive to him, in a similar way that the ranchers cover up their wariness of Curley's Wife by being derogatory towards her. The nature of working on a ranch breeds prejudice during this book. But each type of prejudice shown is created by a different factor. The racism was ingrained in western society in this era and is still in evidence today. The sexism was again just being removed from western society but had not gone and was still rife. Nobody understood mental deficiencies and Lennie couldn't explain himself. These prejudices were not singular to any group of people in that era but other prejudices displayed were. Curley is a product of his own success. His boxing background and fathers power has given him an elevated sense of self importance and he is always on edge and always looking to cause trouble. The prejudices are shown mainly indirectly through peoples actions and the way everybody speaks emphasises the fact that the discrimination is not, in most cases, due to the individuals own vindictiveness but is embedded in the culture they lived in. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. It can be argued that prejudice is the central theme in

    When the Boss first speaks to Lennie and George in the bunkhouse he speaks in an aggressive manner: "'Listen, Small!'" and then "'What can you do?'" Although the words themselves are not especially offensive, the tone he is using tells us of both his aggression and how he feels the need to assert his superiority.

  2. From your reading of the novel so far, (up to and including chapter four), ...

    This shows how desperate he is for the other workers to like him more: that he would allow his only real friend on the ranch to be killed just to please the others in the bunkhouse. This also shows the amount of prejudice Candy suffers: it was inevitable that his

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work