OMAM – Prejudice
In john Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice And men, there are many examples of prejudice. The main types of prejudice shown in this novel are racial, sexual and social prejudice. This essay is firstly going to look at racial prejudice. There is much racial prejudice shown in of mice and men towards Crooks, the black crippled stable buck. Crooks is more permanent than the other ranch hands and has his own room off the stables and in the barn, he has many more possession than the rest of the ranch hands. This room is made put to be privileged and also because it means he is nearer to the horses but in fact it is really because the other ranch hands do not want him in the bunk house with them. As a result of this prejudice Crooks has become bitter and very lonely. When Lennie comes to pet the puppies, not even realising that Crooks room is “out of bounds”, Crooks instantly becomes defensive and uncivil, “I ain’t wanted in the bunk room and you ain’t wanted in my room” but Lennie in his childish innocence is completely without prejudice, “why ain’t you wanted”, he asks. Crooks retaliates to this with: “Cause I’m black, they play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well I tell you, all of you stink to me”. This quote shows us that Crooks desperately wants to join I, be accepted, but because of his colour he cannot so he feels the only way he can make himself feel better is to cut himself off further. When Crooks realises that Lennie means no harm he invites him to “come on in and set a while” Lennie talks to him about George and his dream, it makes Crooks remember his childhood which he looks back on as a kind of heaven. “The white kids come to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them and some of them were pretty nice. My ol’ man didn’t like that. I never knew till long later why he didn’t like that. But I know now”. Crooks did not experience racism directly as a child, this makes his current situation worse...
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