How is Lennie maginalized in Of Mice and Men?

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In Steinbeck's classic novella Of Mice and Men,Lennie Small is a mentally handicapped migrant worker who travels throughout the United States with his best friend and guardian, George Milton . In the story, Lennie and George arrive to work at a ranch in Soledad, California, which is an...

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In Steinbeck's classic novella Of Mice and Men, Lennie Small is a mentally handicapped migrant worker who travels throughout the United States with his best friend and guardian, George Milton. In the story, Lennie and George arrive to work at a ranch in Soledad, California, which is an extremely hostile, unforgiving environment. On the ranch, Lennie is marginalized because of his mental disability and is treated as an outcast. Lennie completely relies on George to defend him against the aggressive individuals on the ranch and cannot function on his own. Unlike the other workers, Lennie is marginalized when he is prohibited from going into town with the guys and is not even allowed to participate in their game of horseshoes.

Lennie is forced to remain back at the farm while George and the other workers hang out together, and he lacks the power to behave independently. Characters like Curley and his wife also take advantage of Lennie because of his mental handicap. Curley picks a fight with Lennie, which turns out to be a bad idea, and Curley's wife insists on interacting with him, despite Lennie's reluctance. Lennie is even marginalized by George at various points in the story when he is severely chastised and forbidden from speaking. Overall, Lennie is marginalized because of his mental disability and is treated as an insignificant outcast, who is voiceless on the hostile ranch. Lennie's lack of power, agency, and voice contribute to his mistreatment.

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