The Nature of Oppression in the Story of Mice and Men

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In the book Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck. It is taking place back during the Great Depression and the general idea is to tell and show you the nature of human existence. It tells you the story of George and Lennie. Two displaced migrant ranch workers. Who move ranch to ranch, because of Lennier’s behavioral issues. They are trying to find new job opportunities. Not to mention, George depends on Lennie throughout the novel to make his American Dream worthwhile. Of Mice And Men teaches a grim lesson about the nature of oppression.

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Lennie has hardships throughout the novel, because he keeps causing trouble wherever he goes. First, George overthrows Lennie by shooting him in the head. George is defeated by his own oppression by shooting Lennie because if he did not shoot him, then Lennie would have suffered. He made Lennie think of the dream farm, which always made Lennie happy. If he did not then the ranch workers would have made him suffer. Because he killed a rat, a puppy and Curleyr’s wife. Next, Curley torments Lennie by beating him up. Curley controls Lennie by always making sure Lennie is under control. George is an adult figure and someone for Lennie to look up too. George has many hardships dealing and controlling Lennie an example would be when he said …but he does it anyway for the sake of Aunt Clara. He promised he would take care and control of Lennie no matter what(12). Lastly, Crooks brutality yells at Lennie for coming into his bunk in the farmhouse. Crooks abuses Lennie because he realizes Lennie is a rare, white ranch worker and he tells Lennie that George is not going to return back to the ranch. Lennie gets upset and that makes Crooks smirk because of the torture he gives Lennie, it satisfies him. Although Lennie was a tyrannized character, he was not the only one.

Curleyr’s wife is abused due to her femininity in the specific time period. First, Curleyr’s wife’s mother iron handed her by making her dream of a movie star never come true. Curleyr’s wife’s mother oppresses Curleyr’s wife because Curleyr’s wife met a man, who worked in the movie industry. They became close and he said when he gets home to Hollywood, he would write her. Curleyr’s wife’s mother found the letter and hid it from Curleyr’s wife. Next, Curley controls his wife by leaving her in the house all day long and not communicating with her. Curley mistreats his wife. Thatr’s what makes her flirt with all of the other ranch workers. She just wants attention and not to be alone and Curley just possesses her. An example, is when she says “I get lonely,” she said, ?You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curly. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?” (87). This is telling you exactly why she flirts with the other ranch workers. Lastly, the ranch workers hound Curleyr’s wife by not talking to her. They are trying to stay as far as possible away from her, so there is no trouble with Curley. Cause whenever Curleyr’s wife’s around Curley thinks that the ranch workers want her. But it is really Curleyr’s wife who is isolated and wants attention. Curleyr’s wife is another character who was tyrannized not just Lennie.

This is only some reasons and examples how Of Mice And Men showed the nature of oppression. Steinbeck choose to portray Lennie and Curleyr’s wife as characters who are oppressed by others because they are two unfortunate people. They have dreams that cannot be succeeded. Also, they are lonely and left out of things and no one talks to or wants to talk to them. There are multiple characters going through multiple issues, they just have to work through things and make the best of it.

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The nature of oppression in the story Of Mice And Men. (2019, May 31). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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