What are the similarities between Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife in Of Mice and Men?

Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife are all discriminated against for various reasons and considered powerless outcasts on the ranch. All four characters lack a voice and the ability to change their situations for the better. They are also vulnerable characters and struggle to thrive on the hostile ranch.

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Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife are marginalized figures on the ranch. Since the ranch is a microcosm of capitalist society, these four characters also represent marginalized groups.

Lennie is marginalized because he is mentally handicapped. His lack of intellectual comprehension gets him into trouble, especially around people who don't understand his disability.

Crooks is Black, and because of this, he is a victim of racism. The other men refuse to allow him to live in the bunkhouse with them. They exclude him from their social life. Curley's wife humiliates him by threatening to have him lynched when he tries to get her to leave his room, a threat Crooks is forced to take seriously.

Candy is missing a hand and is also getting old. These traits impair his ability to work, and he worries about his future and what will happen to him as he becomes increasingly unable to earn a living due to his age. He does not have Social Security or savings to fall back on.

Curley's wife is the only woman on the ranch, which marginalizes her. She is young and naive. She dreams of becoming a movie star. She has a veneer of toughness but little understanding of how the world really works or how vulnerable being a woman truly makes her.

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All four characters are voiceless, lack power, are discriminated against, and considered outcasts on the ranch for various reasons. Lennie is discriminated against because of his mental handicap, which makes him vulnerable to the other workers. Candy is discriminated because of his old age, and Crooks experiences racial discrimination on the farm. Candy recognizes that he is useless on the ranch and fears being fired, and Crooks is segregated from the White workers, who live in the bunkhouse together. Curley's wife is also discriminated against and considered a "tart" and "jailbait" because of her attractive appearance and flirtatious demeanor.

Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife are also voiceless and lack the power to change their situations for the better. Lennie does not have the mental capacity to exercise his personal rights, Candy is too poor and old to alter the trajectory of his life, and Crooks is subject to the racism of the era. Curley's wife cannot escape her marriage and suffers from her husband's domineering personality.

In addition to lacking power or the strength to voice their opinions, all four characters are also targets and struggle to survive in the hostile environment. Lennie is physically assaulted by Curley, Candy cannot protect his dog from being shot, Crooks feels threatened by Curley's wife, and Curley's wife cannot escape Lennie's powerful grip.

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To put in in simple terms, all four of these characters are maligned or considered inferior to other characters found in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

Lennie suffers from mental challenges. He has a low IQ and does not understand the way the world works in terms of social interactions. To his great detriment, he also does not realize how strong he is physically.

The fact that that Crooks is maligned stems from the fact that he is black and would be considered disabled due to his crooked back.

When he comes to Candy, the fact that he is elderly and has lost a hand in a farming accident means that he is not as capable of working as somebody like George, making him an outsider.

Curley's wife is obviously a woman, which, in the time in which the novel is set, automatically makes her an inferior member of society. The fact that she is desperately lonely and spends time flirting with the farm workers causes her to be seen as peculiar.

In a nutshell, what these four characters have in common is that society would consider them inferior to more capable workers.

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A social powerlessness can be said to be the greatest similarity between these characters in Of Mice and Men.

They have no power and they get very little respect. For this reason, they are also each isolated in their own way. This fact is demonstrated when they are all left behind on the night that George, Slim and Curley go to town  and leave each of these characters behind.

Lennie is mentally undeveloped and for that reason is low on the social ladder. He doesn't command the same kind of respect that George does, or Slim, or even Carlson.

Candy is old and has only one hand. Curley's wife is a woman with very little ability to articulate herself and who is therefore often misunderstood. Crooks is not white and has a crooked back. The physical prowess of each of these three characters in addition to their demographic identity (what social category they fit into), assigns them to the same social standing as Lennie - at the bottom of the social ladder.

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