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Of Mice And Men, By John Steinbeck

1386 words - 6 pages

Everyone’s felt like an outsider at some point in their lives. Because they are different in one way or another. That is why John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is an easy story to empathize with. It tells the story of two men, George Milton and Lennie Small. Having found work on a ranch, they form friendships with other men there, try to keep out of trouble until they receive their pay at the end of the month and work towards bringing their dream of owning and working their own piece of land into reality. Several characters including Candy, Lennie, Crooks and Curley’s wife are the outcasts of this story. Which in turn also makes them the most relatable. Steinbeck,through the story of Crooks ...view middle of the document...

He’s created this image of himself as barely better than dust and that prevents him from showing how intelligent,cultured and opinionated he really is.
Likewise, Crooks denies any indication that he’s worth more than a black stable hand because he believes he is foolish to want anything more than what he has. He creates a bubble with himself, Candy and Lennie inside. He even offers “if you guys want a hand to work for nothing,just his keep,why I’d come an’ lend a hand” (Steinbeck 76). He lets himself believe maybe he could be included in the dream as well. But when Curley’s wife threatens him after he demands she leave his room, he is ‘put back in his place’. Then, after Curley’s wife leaves, the bubble pops and Crooks corrects himself with Lennie and Candy when he says “Well jus’ forget it. I didn’ mean it. Just foolin’. I wouldn’ want no place like that” (Steinbeck 83). So even if he thought he could be part of the dream, he refuses it because he thinks he doesn’t deserve to be listened to or respected enough for someone else to let him join them.
Meanwhile, Curley’s wife is the loneliest character in the story because no matter how much attention she finds she will never truly not be lonely. Being the only woman on the ranch makes her an outcast from the start. On top of that, Curley is very possessive of her and prohibits her from speaking to the other men. Carlson complains to Curley be asking him "Why'n't you tell her to stay the hell home where she belongs?" (Steinbeck 62). This line shows that the men do not talk to Curley’s wife and expect her to do same and be quiet. Stay at home with her husband where she should be. Act like the ladies of that time. Having even admitted to being in an unhappy marriage with Curley, she seeks companionship anywhere and everywhere from whoever is there at the moment. And when even the other outcasts (Crooks,Lennie and Candy) dismiss her from the conversation, she remarks “An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs- a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep- and likin’ it because they ain’t nobody else (Steinbeck 78). She takes whoever’s company she can find and enjoy it because, quite truthfully, she has no one else to be around or speak with.
Furthermore, Curley’s wife is a very nice person but her defense mechanisms and the morals she was built with would never allow her a true relationship because she can’t communicate effectively without a romantic context. As one can see in Steinbeck’s letter to Claire Luce, the actress who would play Curley’s wife, he shed some light on Curley’s wife’s background. Her childhood, her past relationships (or lack thereof), why she is the way she is and why she can never be anything...

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