Of Mice and Men

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* 1930s was a racist era – Crooks is referred to as a “nigger” (p.40) and naturally doesn’t have power * Crooks does have some power – books, possessions, gold glasses, own room “You got no right coming in here.” (p.100) * Able to be rude to and manipulate Lennie, which makes him feel powerful “You crazy as a wedge… (p.101) George might not come back” (p.103) “I guy goes crazy if he can’t talk to nobody” (p.105) * Backs down to Lennie who is disabled = weakness “I was just supposin’, he’s gonna come back alright” (p.104) * Is intimidated by Curley’s wife – a mere woman but she is white so has more power. “You know what I could do to you if you open your trap…(p.113) I could get you stung up on a tree so fast it aint even funny.” (p.113) * Curley’s Wife = powerful, white, married to the boss’ son. Shows weakness “They left all the weak ones here.” (p.110) “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while.” (p.110) * Sexuality gives her power – men fancy her. BUT are too scared to talk/go near her which causes her loneliness * She can’t escape her terrible relationship “Think I don’t know where they all went? Even Curley, I know where they went.” (p.110) “I don’t like Curley. He aint a nice fella.” (p.125) * She’s lonely and has no social contact and is referred to as “a bitch” (p.54) and “a piece of jail bait” (p.54) * She has failed hopes and dreams which shows a lack of power = “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes.” (p.125)

* Crooks is clever and knows his rights – why did Steinbeck do this? (What’s the point?)

* Curley’s Wife has no names – why did Steinbeck do this? (What’s the point?)

* Why did Steinbeck create these characters? What message does he send the reader?
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