So, I've been reading Of Mice and Men in English this term and I've noticed that there are certain characters who are not treated fairly by others. Lennie, who is one of the novels protagonists, is seen as dumb by many other characters. For example Lennie's best friend, George, does not allow him to make any of his own decisions and becomes angry when Lennie cannot remember information. Curley, the Ranch owners son, treats Lennie horribly based on his size and lack of intelligence and tries to get Lennie to fight him. I personally think this treatment of Lennie is very cruel and unnecessary and probably wouldn’t happen as badly now based on our knowledge of disabilities and learning difficulties.
Through this unequal treatment of Lennie, I feel like Steinbeck is trying to show that during his time, the 1930's, people of America didn’t know a lot about disabilities and so were prejudice and discriminatory towards people who were considered "slower" in intelligence than others.
Other characters who are stereotyped based on their appearance are Crooks, the black stable hand, who is made to sleep apart from the others and is ridiculed because of the colour of his skin; and Curley's wife, who gets dressed up and flirts with the men, is thought of as a trashy trouble maker who wants to get the men fired.
Through these characters I think Steinbeck is highlighting that during his context the culture of a Ranch environment was pretty unforgiving of people who were "different" and stood out. They were not given the same rights and responsibilities as those around them.
I'm liking this book-on to the next chapter!