Of Mice and Men Themes: Racism

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  • The men's treatment of Crooks is contradictory
    • Racism
      • The men's racism is unconscious and simply part of life at the time
        • Constantly refer to him as "the nigger"
        • "They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black"
        • "If I say something, why it's just a nigger saying it"
      • Crooks is treated more like an animal than a person
        • "Crooks bunk was a long box filled with straw"
      • Lennie, like a child, doesn't understand racism
        • "Why ain't you wanted?"
        • "Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt to make friends"
        • "Lennie's disarming smile defeated him"
      • Crooks could also be said to be racist, but he is attempting to defend himself
        • "They say I stink. Well I tell you, you all of you stink to me"
        • "Don't come in a place where you're not wanted"
    • They like him but beat him up
    • "The stable buck's a nigger...nice fella..Smitty took after the nigger"


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