There are many predjudices in Of mice and men which show what life was like in 1930s America.
One of the most prominant predjudices is Racism, specifically against African-Americans
This Predjudice is mentioned throughout the book where many white characters use the word ‘Nigger’ to Describe Black people, or Crooks, the Negro stable buck.
The extent of this Racism is revealed by crooks, Crooks explained it when Lennie stumbled into the Barnhouse trying to pet his Puppy, Crooks revealed how he is mistreated by the other white workers on the ranch, maybe not physically, but how they passively abuse him, I.E not wanting to be around him, not letting him in the Bunkhouse, not sharing food with him or sleeping or eating near him, all these things resulted in Crooks being very Independent and Defensive when it comes to talking to other people, Crooks shows The extent of this Racism by answering Lennie when Lennie asks why he wan’t wanted in the Bunkhouse, he says: “Cause I’m black. They play cards in there , but I can’t play because I’m Black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me.”
The author uses simple, quick statements to explain the the Racism involved in the book, ‘Cause I’m Black’ is an example of this, it shows that The other workers did not socialize with Crooks solely because of his skin colour.
Lennie does not understand the concept of Racism because of his Incapacity to Learn, His disability is Cleverly used by the Author to give Crooks a reason to explain how the other white workers are Racist towards him , Lennie’s disability means that he cannot grasp the concept of Racism, therefore he does not hold any hate for Crooks or anyone else.
Crooks is very protective of his Pride and his protection is described by the author as the ‘terrible protective dignity of the Negro’ which he can ‘retreat’ into should he be insulted, Because Lennie is Mentally challenged and does not have the capacity to use insults, Crooks lowers his defences and brings out his inner side which is somewhat friendlier that when he is in his ‘Protection’.