Prejudice is a vicious cycle. People all over the world everyday experience being made fun of because of race, smarts, gender, height, etc. In the book Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, Steinbeck emphasizes the way people are prejudice and how it can make people feel unequal.
This book is about two migrant workers in the 1930s who are forced out of their town because they accidentally committed a crime. The migrant workers, Lennie and George, are completely opposite from each other. Lennie is an individual with special needs and because we were not advanced with medical research, he was seen as an outcast and a joke among many people.
George, Lennie’s best friend, had to take care of Lennie because of his condition. When Lennie and George get to the ranch they were hired to work on, they meet a woman. George and Lennie know her as Curly’s wife, and not by her true name. She is shown as an object to the men on the ranch. By doing this, Steinbeck starts to show how bad it will be for Curly’s wife to deal with prejudiced people.
Curly’s wife shows that prejudice is not just towards race, but gender as well. An example of people being prejudice towards Curly’s wife is her name. No one knows what her real name is because she belongs as a possession to Curly. In the 1930s people believed that men were superior to women and that women were objects, not human beings.
Her name proves, that she was not important because the migrant workers did not know her real name, instead they know that she is “owned” by Curly. Unfortunately, Curly’s wife is also an example of prejudice being a vicious, ongoing cycle. “Well, you keep your place then, n*gger. I could get you strung up on a tree so fast it ain’t even funny.”
This shows Curly’s wife being prejudice towards Crooks, even though she was a victim of it herself. Curly’s wife is being mean to Crooks because he of his race, and she is being made fun of because she is a woman of possession that flirts with other men and does not truly love her husband, Curly.
Being stuck in Curly’s house also makes Curly’s wife feel excluded among the men. “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?”(62).
This shows that she not only wants to talk to people, but she also wants to be equal, or included, with all the other men on the ranch. When she says this, she is showing she is not allowed to talk to the men of the house and she believes it’s unfair. Curly’s wife just wants equal rights like all the other men on the farm.
Throughout the story, Curly’s wife is shown the vicious repeating cycles of prejudice. She demonstrates how being a victim can also make you the villain in some situations.
Being possessed by Curly definitely made Curly’s wife feel angry, depressed, and like a victim. Using the emotions she had inside, she let it out on other people so they would feel what she did inside. Today, everyone faces prejudiced people, whether they are the person causing it, or if they are different in some way shape or form. Of Mice and Men can teach people valuable life lessons about the effects someone can cause on unique individuals.
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