Outcasts in Society In Relation To John Steinbecks Of Mice And Men

Outcasts in Society In Relation To John Steinbecks Of Mice And Men

Throughout history, many groups of individuals have been the target of persecution by a much larger or more dominant group, frequently the common individuals. Amongst these groups are or were: blacks, the disabled, ladies, children, the senior, and members of other faiths. In John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, 3 characters were considered as outcasts by the majority of workers on the ranch: Lennie, mentally disabled, Sweet, an older and amputee, and Crooks, a black.

In the time frame in which the novella is set, a mentally handicapped person was typically seen by others as incapacitated, slowed down, and a waste of the caretaker’s time. In Lennie’s case, he was initially viewed as ineffective, but when he was put to work, he was doing a far better job than a lot of others around him.

However, his child-like mindset triggered numerous issues: he really seldom remembered what individuals informed him, he became focused on one subject (rabbits), and he became confused or unaware regarding what to do if he heard somebody scream or shout. This describes how he unintentionally killed Curley’s partner. In the end, as previously foreshadowed, George grew sick of dragging Lennie around, and eventually shot him.

The factor for amputees being labeled as outcasts is apparent: they are missing out on limbs, which makes them ineffective in some fields of work, including farming, one where many individuals lose hands or arms. Candy is the ranch’s amputee, however the reader does not know whether or not his disability was brought on by a farming mishap.

Being an amputee, Sweet was given a rather degrading job compared to others: pushing a broom. Not just are humans targeted, however Sweet’s canine is likewise considered an outcast, due to his age, smell, and physical strength. Ultimately, Slim shot Candy’s dog, putting an end to its discomfort.

For years, blacks were the biggest minority group in the United States, and it wasn’t till the 1960’s that blacks were formally recognized as individuals in the U.S. On the ranch, Scoundrels wasn’t offered far more than his job and a small area in the barn. He wasn’t permitted to take part in any social events, nor was he enabled to speak to any whites, 99% of the people on the cattle ranch. The only person who really saw Crooks as a genuine man was Lennie, who can be found in and, as normal, informed him about his & & George’s master plan to run their own farm and “tend the bunnies.”

Today, there are many programs helping the physically, mentally, and developmentally handicapped, blacks are dominant in the show business, and there are more humane ways of abandoning a domesticated animal than taking it out into a field and shooting it. But 65 years ago, such events would be unprecedented.


Steinbeck, John. 1937. Of Mice and Men. New York City: Penguin Books.

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