Everywhere you look there is prejudice, you may be the wrong colour, worship the wrong God or wear the wrong thing. No-one fits into our idealistic world perfectly. This prejudice has been around for thousands of years because it is just human nature not to accept people for who they are.
In Of Mice And Men there are several different levels of prejudice shown, all contributing to the failure of the American dream. 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 with many more possessions than them. This room is made out to be a privilege 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 aint wanted in the bunk room and you aint wanted in my room” but Lennie in his childish innocence is completely without prejudice ” Why aint you wanted” he asks. Crooks retaliates to this with: “Cause Im black, they play cards in there but I cant play because Im black.Order now
They say I stink. Well I tell you, all of you stink to me” This line showing that Crooks desperately wants to join in, be accepted, but because of his colour he cant and so he feels the only way he can make himself feel better is to cut himself off further, it is a vicious circle. When Crooks realises that Lennie means no harm he invites him to ” Come on in and set a while” Lennie begins to talk about George and his dream, it makes Crooks reminisce to his childhood which he looks on as a kind of paradise. “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 didnt like that. I never knew till long later why he didnt like that.
But I know now”. Crooks didnt experience racism directly in his childhood, making his current situation even worse. Crooks is fascinated by the strength of the friendship of Lennie and George, especially how close they are. Crooks said, “Well, s’pose, jus’ s’pose he don’t come back. What’ll you do then?” Crooks asks these questions because he does not have any friends, and wouldnt know how losing them unexpectedly would feel. He was curious and envious, about the friendship of Lennie and George, noticing that Lennie is retarded, he takes advantage of this situation to “torture” him mentally, to make him feel better and ease the pain of having other reject him “Crooks face lighted with pleasure at his torture” he also does this to ease his jealousy towards the friendship Lennie has, but that he, Crooks, will probably never have.
He wants the people to feel the way that he does, completely alone. Crooks goes on to talk about his loneliness ” A guy needs somebody-to be near him He whined: A guy goes nuts if he aint got nobody. Dont make no difference who the guy is, longs hes with you he cried I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an he gets sick” Crooks is looking for sympathy, he is so incredibly lonely even to the point to saying that loneliness can make you ill. George continues to talk about his dream. Crooks, having been on the ranch for quite a while, has witnessed a lot of people with the same dream, he ridicules it “Nobody ever gets to heaven, and nobody never gets no land” but when Candy comes in and backs up what George has been saying he begins to believe in the dream “If youguys want