Discrimination In “Of Mice And Men” By John Steinbeck

Introduction

Loneliness is a fact of life; it happens to many throughout one’s lifetime. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, a profound theme is, in fact, loneliness. During the making of the story, each character, in one way or another, is described, is given a reason, and how loneliness directly affects them and their decisions. Whether it be an old man who has lost his dog, a young married woman, or a middle-aged man with a hard discriminatory life, the complex emotion puzzles many. The emotional lack of communication and companionship has a deep effect on a person, much like in the novel. Steinbeck uses some of his most important characters, including Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s Wife, to show this loss of deep emotional support.

Body

Curley’s Wife: Seeking Connection Amidst Restrictions

Curley’s Wife, a deeply important female character in the novel, is married to Curley, the boss’s son. Curley has a powerful hold over his Wife which was increasingly common during the Great Depression. He forbade all of the workers and other farmhands from talking to his Wife and vis-versa. Begging for friends, attention, and the feeling of belongingness, Curley’s Wife takes advantage of her looks and social status with Curley to her advantage. In chapter 4, the young woman pushes the men into giving her the attention she lacks, including intimidating Crooks when he tells her to leave his room by telling the black, disabled man that he could be “sprung up on a tree so easy; it ain’t even funny” (Steinbeck 81). Her new action became increasingly discriminatory and harassing. She was branded as a “promiscuous woman” (Steinbeck 32) and subjected to various derogatory labels by others. She experienced a profound sense of neglect and isolation. The only ranch worker with whom Curley’s Wife had the opportunity to converse was Lennie, largely because he was unaware, aside from George’s warnings, of her predicament. In their final conversation within the austere, desolate barn, she finally felt heard and understood. Remarkably, after only a few intense days of acquaintance, she confided in Lennie, saying, “I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella” (Steinbeck 89). The prospect of no longer feeling alone made her vulnerable, which, ironically, contributed to her demise. Curley’s Wife serves as a poignant example of the societal perceptions of women during the Great Depression and the behavioral changes stemming from the deprivation of a fundamental human need: companionship.

Our writers can help you with any type of essay. For any subject

Order now

Candy was the oldest ranch worker in the book that lost his right arm in an accident. He was discriminated against because of his age and disability and was an outcast. He had no family except for the dog he raised. His dog used to be of great usefulness, but as the dog became older, he became less useful and helpless. The death of the poor man’s dog only uncovered more of Candy’s intense loneliness. Candy’s dog is a direct showing of the issue of ageism and ableism in society at that time. Workers were expected to be productive on the ranch, and if one no longer met that demand due to age or ability to perform certain tasks, they would be dismissed and left to suffer without the thought of the well-being of most of the time, a very hard worker. Candy knows that he will meet the same fate very soon, which will only push him deeper into his swelling loneliness. So the crippled man tells George, “Just as soon as I can’t swamp out no bunkhouses, they’ll put me on the county” (Steinbeck 60). To escape his loneliness and inevitable fate of getting canned by the farm, Candy becomes deeply invested in the duo’s version of the American Dream. The old man offers his entire life savings, a total of $350 dollars, towards the dream farm. “S’pose I went in with you guys. Tha’s three hundred and fifty bucks I’d put in. I ain’t much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How’d that be?” (Steinbeck 59). He was very attached and drawn to the idea of the farm and continued to have this dream even after the.

Crooks: Racism, Acceptance, and Loneliness

One of the biggest issues that was prevalent in the Great Depression was racism, which Crooks was a victim of. He was physically separated from the other men and had limited contact with others. As a replacement for friendship, he kept himself occupied with books. Still, he admitted that “Books ain’t no good” and that “A guy needs somebody – to be near him. A guy goes nuts when if he ain’t got nobody” (Steinbeck 72). In the Great Depression, black people faced racial discrimination and segregation from the white citizens of the United States. However, this was exaggerated greatly in the novel as Crooks was the only black man on the ranch.

Conclusion

These characters grappled with various societal challenges, mirroring the struggles of minority groups within the societal framework of their nation. Each individual acknowledged their solitude, and based on their current societal roles and status, they adopted unique measures to combat or cope with it. Steinbeck effectively illustrates that the loneliness stemming from the prevailing prejudices of the era significantly impacts one’s character, conduct, and mindset. Contemporary society possesses a deeper understanding of the repercussions of isolation and bias. It should be society’s collective objective to eradicate all forms of discrimination and extend support to individuals dealing with various life challenges, with the aim of fostering a more inclusive, healthier, and interconnected existence for all.

References

  1. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, 1937.

 

Importance Of Clean Water And Sanitation In Nigeria

Introduction

Human behaviors combined with lapses in law enforcement and many other societal ills are contributing to epically poor sanitation in Nigeria. The urgent need for health awareness, effective laws, and cultural re-education will be the only way to create sustainable development and illness prevention. Nigeria is the largest country on the continent of Africa. It is located in the Western region of the continent and is the most populated country in Africa. As a direct consequence of their poor hygienic practices and lawless behaviors, people in Africa, especially Nigeria, are facing unspeakable living conditions. Rampant sickness and the avoidable, curable, and often deadly disease persists everywhere. Occurs at a much higher rate than in other developing countries and a much higher rate than in developed countries. “Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and feces. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2017). The effects of poor sanitation are not only being perpetrated by the domestic community but from many other sources. Industries are only too well aware of the lapse enforcement of laws and dispose of their waste in ways that are harmful in many ways. The medical community is not any different; it is not uncommon to find medical waste surfacing in waterways that are used for daily ablution and day-to-day domestic necessities. The limited access to running water makes the proper and effective disposal of sewage a significant problem also. Once again, only cultural re-education, effective laws, and proper law enforcement can reverse this trend.

Body

Sanitation Challenges and Health Implications

In order to understand the magnitude of the sewage problem in Nigeria, we must first understand what sewage is. Contrary to the common prevailing notion about what sewage is, sewage is actually the wastewater from your shower, bathtub, washing machine, dishwasher, kitchen sink, and toilet. And not just fecal remains. In Nigeria, there are very limited, effective sewage waste disposal systems. As a result, most of their citizens are forced to dispose of their waste in the best and most convenient way available, and that, unfortunately, is into streams. This practice is not confined just to the regular citizenry. Sewage and industrial waste also come from large corporations who simply find dumping their waste a cheaper alternative. This practice of disposing of waste in streams and public spaces is very hazardous to the community.

Our writers can help you with any type of essay. For any subject

Order now

Water Pollution and its Widespread Consequences

These very streams of water that untreated sewage runs into are used on a daily basis for every aspect of Nigeria’s daily existence. From their drinking water to water for cooking to their daily baths, all done with the very water that daily sewage collects into. One important feature of the landscape of Nigeria is the fact that there is a very large supply of water throughout the country. Nigeria alone has about 215 cubic kilometers of surface water constantly present each year. This is more running water than can be found in all of the other African countries combined. Even with this much water, only 19% of the nation’s population has ready access to clean drinking water (Odume & Slaughter, 2018). In the suburban areas where there are septic tanks, cesspools, and soakaways, there are still environmental problems. These types of sewage disposal systems lead to the soil being saturated with pollutants causing groundwater pollution in many cases.

Urbanization and Waste Management Crisis

Adding to the challenges facing metropolitan cities across Africa in general and Nigeria, in particular, is the collection and disposal of domestic waste. Urbanization is happening at an alarming rate. The population living in big cities such as Lagos, Ibadan, and Kano has more than doubled in the last 15 years. Lagos alone has more than 21 million people, according to the latest report, which makes it by far the largest city in Africa (Wale Bakari, 2018). It is estimated that Nigeria produces 32 million tons of solid waste per year, with 10,000 tons per day in Lagos alone. Only one-third of that amount is collected and properly disposed of. In 2000 the city was named the world’s dirtiest city (Maduenyi, 2018). Piles of waste can be found everywhere, in parking lots, on highways, at the airport, around buildings, in open marketplaces, by rivers, or on any piece of unused land. Several factors have been identified as being responsible for the perpetuation of the crisis; among them are the lack of adequate budgetary provisions, laxity in enforcing sanitation laws, lack of trained or professional waste managers, and lack of effective monitoring and control.

Adding to all that is the level of population awareness. People are not aware of the adverse effects of indiscriminate and improper disposal of waste and the repercussions associated with such acts. This means that educational programs must be part of the solutions to tackle the problem (Nigerialawguru.com). Domestic waste presents a breeding ground for vermin and agents of diseases such as rats, flies, and mosquitoes (Obinna, 2015). Mosquitoes are known for being responsible for transmitting malaria, while flies can cause diarrheal diseases. Ground and surface waters are polluted by the improper disposal of waste leading to water-borne diseases. The release of pollutants in the air leads to upper respiratory diseases.

Corporate and Healthcare Contributions to Sanitation Crisis

One would reasonably assume that being on the front line of not just Nigeria but Africa’s crumbling public health conditions, healthcare institutions would be circumspect about the effects of their behaviors on society. Considering that about 85% of the waste generated by healthcare facilities belongs to the general waste category, the remaining 15% comprises highly infectious or toxic radioactive materials (A. et al., 2017). Healthcare facilities are found to be guilty of taking advantage of Nigeria’s lapse in law enforcement of its laws. Joining the illegal disposal of solid waste poses serious environmental problems to society. In addition to medical waste, other waste products with significant environmental impact are generated from construction and industrial production (A. et al., 2017). There is much talk today about the earth’s human population increasing and the natural ecosystem having declined and changed in the balance of natural cycles. That we have negatively impacted both the human and other living systems ( Ezeonu et al., 2012). Now there are those in the public domain who are attempting to attempt to spread the blame for the effects of these and similar travesties to include the more wealthy and industrialized nations. By stating the fact that wealthier countries such as the United States produce much larger volumes of waste, they attempt to establish that they are responsible for a proportional amount of eco-disaster. In their defense, it was pointed out that none of the wealthy countries have a claim to having “the filthiest cities on earth” (Uwadiegwu & Chukwu, 2013, p. 297)

Conclusion

The bottom line is people live what they learn. The only thing they can do is what they have been taught, what they have seen and have come to accept as normal. As a result, in order to turn things around in Nigeria, there has to be a cultural change. Before people, industries, and institutions stop depreciating their communities, there needs to be a public campaign. Public service announcements and school outreach programs. An extensive and protracted effort to reeducate Nigerians about a new, advanced, and healthier way of life. Because unless the public is on board with the efforts to turn things around, nothing is going to change. Next, the government will have to put into place more advanced garbage disposal systems, sewage disposal mechanisms, and portable water for the majority of Nigerians. And most importantly, there have to be relevant and effective laws laid down in the books. With the laws in place, the authorities have to be ready and willing to make the hard decisions. To expose people to the full weight of the law in order to get the message across that things have changed and they need to change right along too. If it is too difficult for the locals to enforce the new laws, bring in expatriates from other cultures to do the enforcement. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; there are endless examples of effective environmental waste management all around the world.

References

  1. World Health Organization. (2017, October 05). Sanitation. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from http://www.who.int/topics/sanitation/en/
  2. Odume, N., & Slaughter, A. (2018, September 19). How Nigeria is wasting its rich water resources. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/how-nigeria-is-wasting-its-rich-water-resources-83110 Adesogan, S. (2013). Sewage Technology in Nigeria: A Pragmatic Approach. A Pragmatic Approach,1-2. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Sewage-spills
  3. Wale B, Solid waste management in Nigeria. (2018) http://www.bioenergyconsult.com. 2-Maduenyi. When waste challenges a mega city. (2018). http://www.punchng.com/lagos- when-waste-challenges-a-mega-city.
  4. Obinna C, how improper waste disposal damages health (2015). http://www.vanguardngr.com
  5. Problem of domestic waste and management: any repressors. http://www.nigerialawguru.com/
  6. Oyekale, A. S., & Oyekale, T. O. (2017). Healthcare waste management practices and safety indicators in Nigeria. BMC public health, 17(1), 740. doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4794-6
  7. Ezeonu, C. S., Tagbo, R., Anike, E. N., Oje, O. A., & Onwurah, I. N. (2012). Biotechnological tools for environmental sustainability: prospects and challenges for environments in Nigeria-a standard review. Biotechnology research international, 2012, 450802.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× How can I help you?