Steinbeck Finally, Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife representing the

Steinbeck uses characterisation to represent the social issues in 1930s America to show how tough life was for itinerant workers at that time. When the Wall Street Crash happened, millions of people lost their homes and jobs, so many farmers bought more land and expensive equipments to end up getting into debt. Others ended up as migrants who moved to the Golden California. They moved there to find jobs and get money. A lot of them had dreams to achieve and the first American dream was to have freedom, independence and owning one’s land and having a possibility of a better life. With all the issues that happened in America, Steinbeck decided to write his novel ‘Of Mice And Men’,  he used characterisation to represent all of the issues in America during the Great Depression. In the novel Steinbeck introduces the theme of loneliness and friendship through the main characters George and Lennie. One of the issues was racism where white people were being racist towards black; this issue is applied through the character of Crooks. The theme of no tolerance for the weak is shown through the character of Candy and his dog, Lennie, Crooks and Curley’s wife because they are the four misfits. The next theme is survival of the fittest this applies to Candy and his dog. Finally, Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife representing the theme of men vs. women in 1930s America and to show how women were inferior.                         Loneliness, friendship and dreams were introduced in the novel through the main characters George and Lennie. They are two protagonists who have a vague dream of owning a farm, which was one of the American Dreams in 1930s America. Their dream of independence is introduced when `George says “O.K. Someday- we’re gonna get the jack together and we’re have a little house and a couple of acres an’ a cow and some pigs and–… and how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it.” Steinbeck introduced the social issue of the American dream by having a dream farm, as George kept mentioning it over and over again and focused on the very little details, such as “how thick the cream is on the milk like you can hardly cut it”, that proves that George and Lennie over idolized their dream farm. Steinbeck is showing that George and Lennie are representing the lives of the migrant workers of having their unachievable dream. They can’t achieve it because they don’t have enough money to buy the land, as it was barely enough for their food.                               Steinbeck uses Crooks to represent racism and no tolerance for the weak in 1930’s America.  This quote is giving us the intention of segregation and loneliness of how Crooks is treated and about his living conditions. ” Crooks, the Negro stable buck had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the bar… hung broken harness…working tool.” This shows that Crooks was segregated because back in 1930s America racial prejudice existed and as Crooks is the only black person in the ranch, he is not wanted in the bunkhouse. Crooks has his own room and he is surrounded with a lot of item like the ” working tools,” this indicates that his room is a storage area and because of his colour they put him in there and this indicates that Crooks is isolated from the other migrant workers and Crooks is treated as if he is not a human. ” Crooks had his apple box over his bunk, with a range of medicine bottles inside it, both for himself and for the horses.” This implies that the migrant worker and the boss are treating him very harshly. “For himself and for the horses.”  This implies that he shares his room with well, Steinbeck mentions that “Crooks’ bunk was a long box filled with straw”. This indicates that Crooks was treated as if he is one of the animals living on the ranch. It shows that he has been discriminated and judged just because he was a black guy living among the white people.When Crooks became mad he confessed to Lennie by saying ” cause I’m black. They play cards in there… You all of you stink to me.” This shows that Crooks is segregated and he is a social outcast and all of this makes him weak as well as he has no right. Crooks tone in this quote is showing that he had enough of being lonely and treated unfairly because of his skin colour when he says’ you stink to me’ he wants to show the white people who are offending him that he can do the same things to them.         The theme survival of the fittest and the theme of no tolerance for the weak is linked together because they are shown through the same characters. The theme survival for the fittest shows that only the strong people can survive and this goes to animals too. Here where Slim shows by his words that there is no place for the weak and to show how cruel life is in 1930’s America. ” She slang her pups last night,” said Slim. “Nine of ’em I drowned four of ’em right off. She couldn’t feed that many.” This shows us as the reader that in 1930s America it was a tough world to live in and only the strong can go through life. Slim says ” couldn’t feed that many” this shows that the old and weak should die and the strong should be taken care of and the weak should be eliminated for the group. This is about the weaklings should die. “Why’n’t you get Candy to shoot his old dog and give him one of the pups to raise up?” At this moment Candy does not want to lose his companion because he does not want to be lonely like the other migrant workers and this shows us again that there is no place for the old and weak because it has no use for it being alive.         Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife to represent women in 1930s America, and to show that women were a possession of their husband. The name “Curley’s Wife.” suggests that Curley’s wife is a belonging to her husband as throughout the novel Steinbeck never mentions Curley’s wife real name, it shows that the men knew her as Curley’s wife that she belonged to him and this put the men in a position to keep their distance away from her. Women in America were treated and owned by their men, she is the only woman in the ranch and she is one of the misfits. Curley’s is always acting flirtatious “she put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward”, she does this to get attention because she doesn’t want to be lonely. The men in the ranch see her as a tart “Curley’s married… a tart”, this show that the men in the ranch see her behavior is sexually immoral. Steinbeck is using Curley’s wife to represent the issue of men vs. women to show the problems in 1930’s America.         The ranch is a mini version of 1930s America, showing all of the issues that were occurring in 1930s America. Steinbeck showed all of the issues well and he put in a lot of details and feelings in the novel to show us how the types of people were treated and felt, by having their dreams that they aren’t capable of achieving and when they didn’t they just moved on and lost hope as they didn’t care anymore.


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