How Does Steinbeck Present the Plight of the Minorities in 1930’s America Within of Mice and Men?

Topics: Of Mice and Men, Great Depression, John Steinbeck Pages: 3 (1320 words) Published: April 4, 2013
1930’s America saw many different groups within society be prejudiced against. At the time minority groups had no standing within society. Steinbeck; in his book Of Mice and Men, presents the common minority groups within society in 1930’s America and how they were forced to live their lives. The book references four characters that all represent different groups seen as minorities at the time that the book is set. This essay will follow the characters in the book and explore how and why they found themselves as minorities and how this ultimately changed the characters lives. One of the lead characters in the book, Lennie, from the start is shown as being different from others (including the other main characters George). In Of Mice and Men Lennie represents the mentally disabled group within society in 1930’s America. This is shown by Steinbeck in many different defining ways. Steinbeck portrays Lennie as having poor dialect, which draws similarities to the way in which children speak. Lennie uses childish dialect in conjunction with childish phrases such as “If you don’ want me I can go off in the hills an’ find a cave. I can go away any time”. This sort of phrase emphasises the point that Steinbeck is making about Lennie, his mental state makes him fall into a minority group within society and by making a huge man who is earlier compared to a bear with the mental state of a child shows just how weak he is mentally. The author uses these childish phrases about him wanting to run away to show how Lennie thinks he can cope on his own like a child does when they think that they are old enough too live without anyone, but however in reality neither are able to cope without the parental figure within their life, for Lennie this person is George. Although Lennie is shown to be of some use within the book, showing that although he is part of a minority he shouldn’t be disregarded as he does have some levels of intelligence even if it is usually at the level of...
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