StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' - Book Report/Review Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men'

Certainly Lennie's character is portrayed as marginal due to his mental disability and Candy's advanced age and his missing limb push him to the margins of society as well. Crooks, the "stable buck", is marginalized because he is black and also disabled. In each of these cases the normal characters, such as Slim, Carlson, Curly and his wife, exercise an unquestioned power and influence over the abnormal characters within the story. While Lennie seems to be the most obvious victim of these cruel standards, Steinbeck appears to suggest that all are victims of this society and its prejudices and racism.
Crooks serves as both character and symbol, of California's ranch culture. At different times Steinbeck portrays Crooks in dehumanizing terms, as "the nigger," not the man. The ranch employees casually refer to Crooks as the nigger using this derogatory name with an ease that suggests they do not consider it offensive or insulting. Yet Steinbeck also uses Crooks to critique the racism that has shaped his life. Steinbeck seems to use Crooks as literary device to illustrate the quietly hostile and impersonal mentality of the culture in which George and Lennie live. An introductory exchange between George and Candy in which they try to determine the ranch owner's personality based on his treatment of Crooks illustrates this. Candy explains some of the boss' qualities to George and Lennie:
T"He was sure burned when you wasn't here this morning. Come
right in when we was eatin' breakfast and says, 'Where the hell's
the new men' An' he give the Stable Buck hell, too."
George patted a wrinkle out of his bed, and sat down. "Gave the
Stable Buck hell" he asked.
"Sure. Ya see the stable buck's a nigger."
"Nigger, huh"
"Yeah, nice fella too" (Steinbeck, 1994, p. 20)
This exchange illustrates the complicated role of race painted by Steinbeck in this society/culture. Candy can on one hand see it as perfectly normal/acceptable for the boss to abuse Crooks because of his race. Simultaneously Candy comments that he likes Crooks, but does not find this racist paradox at all problematic. None of the men seem to dislike Crooks but neither do they refer to him by his name or allow him into the bunkhouse. Only Slim ever addresses Crooks by his name, supposing, of course that Crooks is not just an unkind reference to his crooked back. In other words, Crooks is victimized due to his race.
Crooks is shown to have little or no control over his life, he is the frequent target of racial slurs and physical and mental assaults. Just like Candy's old dog, Crooks has very little control over his fate; both are at the mercy of the whims of the ranchers. This treatment of Crooks helps characterize the harshness of both the people on this ranch and the culture of ranch life in general. A small verbal exchange in the third chapter illustrates the rigid nature of these people and this place. George is in the bunkhouse playing cards with Whit and the discussion turns to Curly's wife.
Whit laid down his cards impressively. "Well stick around an' keep your eyes open. You'll see plenty. She ain't concealin' nothing. I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody. I bet she even gives the stable buck the eye. I don't know what the hell she wants." (p. 50)
Steinbeck reveals the pervasive racism and sexism of this culture through Whit's suggestion that flirting with Crooks is the most offensive act possible. Indeed, sexism and racism ...Show more

Summary

The society Steinbeck paints in Of Mice and Men is a world of stereotypes, prejudices and racist beliefs. Those considered normal live by strict sets of rules, which from the outside, seem inhumane. This is true of life in the bunkhouse and of life on the ranch in general…
Author : martine22
Steinbecks Of Mice and Men essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men'"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

All the Shah's Men
The US engineered the revolt with active assistance from Britain, which ousted Mohammed Mossadegh’s government, who was the legally voted head of Iran. Kinzer explains how the US overthrew Iran’s first lawfully selected regime in order to reinstate the Shah, and get U.S oil companies to gain the restricted oil concession the British controlled until the coup.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Explication Essay about Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men
Steinbeck has exposed several themes in a very stimulating and exciting manner such as the relationship of friendship and loyalty between two friends, and the depressing and hostile environment faced by the American citizens. However, loneliness and isolation emerges as the highlighting theme of the novel.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Representation of Men in Literature
It also has to be done the same day because these three androids have already been warned and could soon be on the run. Finishing of three andy's in a day is a remarkable . Finishing of six would be very difficult and had rarely been done before. And Finishing of six of the advanced kind would border on the impossible.
8 pages (2000 words) Book Report/Review
Equality of men and women
In fact feminist theory has considered the core problems in the legal and political systems, resulting in a discourse on the inherent inequalities of these systems that favor men over women2. Therefore this discussion will consider two key areas of feminist theory which are; equality of rights; and the equality in the law.
7 pages (1750 words) Book Report/Review
Symbolism in Of Mice and Men

The author states that in the story, characters are presented through action: symbolism intensifies character and action. Steinbeck relies heavily on metaphorical language to convey personal and dream-like states of consciousness. For Steinbeck, the setting and landscape constitutes a vital aspect of the story.

4 pages (1500 words) Book Report/Review
Of men and husbands:Armand and Torwald
This is not to say that they are perfectly similar, they most certainly are not, and their most striking differences revolve around the motivations underlying their pride and their willingness or unwillingness to forgive. This essay will examine their similarities and differences as men and husbands.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
The Island of Menstruating Men by Ian Hogbin
These dogmas ensure that both the genders respect the rights of each other to protect themselves from the punishments enshrined in some of the very unusual rituals of tongue scaring, ear piercing and artificial menstruation. These rituals are sanctified for both the genders as they initiate their early lives as men and women; a phenomenon that governs the rest of their lives.
7 pages (1750 words) Book Report/Review
Tallys Corner: A Study of Negro Street corner Men
Elliot wrote his book after 18 months of experience he got while living in a group of socially and culturally unstable men in a poor, city neighbourhood in Washington D.C. The main reason of this book when it was published in 1960 was to open eyes of the Americans to the condition of black men in American society.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men
Through the friendship between innocent Lennie and sophisticated George, Steinbeck explores and illuminates the plight of the working classes from a personal, emotional perspective. Of Mice and Men is the story of a mentally challenged man, his best friend and the hardships that they are forced to endure as they try to make a living.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
Of mice and men
They are all successful by merely appreciating the movie’s reputable worth. Those who have performed are many thus Betty Field, Eugene Solow and many more. “Of Mice and Men” is excellent whether performed as a plays, a novelette or
1 pages (250 words) Book Report/Review
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation