How does Steinbeck highlight important concerns in the conflicts he features in Of Mice and Men?

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In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck highlights important concerns between characters through the element of irony.  For example, Curly's wife causes major conflicts among the men on the farm, and her presence sparks wild jealousy in Curly.  The men perceive her as a promiscuous troublemaker; however, she is truly lonely because she is mistreated by her husband.  Ironically, she finds comfort and brief companionship in Lennie who ends up killing her out of fear.  This conflict highlights the fact that people often perceive each other in biased ways:  Curly's wife just wanted someone with whom she could talk and Lennie ends up blamed and pursued for being a "monster" who committed murder.

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