The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race

Example From The Book- When the worker treat Crooks like trash because he is african american

Quotes- “Nigger, huh?" " Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back where a horse knocked him. The boss gives him hell when he's mad"(20)

“Nigger, huh?" " Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back where a horse knocked him. The boss gives him hell when he's mad"(20)

Racism Essay

The book "Of Mice and Men" is a classic story about friendship and difficult times. There are many reasons “Of Mice of Men” has been banned, but the primary reason is because of John Steinbeck’s use of foul language and racial slurs. The insults used throughout the book are not socially acceptable in today’s society. People think they can protect children from these words and prejudices by banning the book. Can they really?

In John Steinbeck’s novella called “Of Mice and Men,” racial slurs are evident throughout the work. The book takes place in the 1900’s so it is not surprising that these words appear. In the book, African Americans are treated very badly because it was the 1900’s when racism was common and socially accepted. One quote that shows this is when they are talking about one African American worker. “Nigger, huh?" "Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back where a horse knocked him. The boss gives him hell when he's mad" (20). This quote shows how they were treated poorly, called derogatory names, and were picked on daily by the boss because of the color of their skin. Also in the book, they would not call Crook to play cards with them. ”You don't let me in your house to play cards, so why should I let you into my house?" (p.68) This shows how he does not want to play cards with them because they never accept him and allow him to play with them.

I think that banning this book was a very bad decision. By banning this book, people thought they awee protecting youth from learning and using inappropriate, racist words, but in reality, people still use offensive words and actions every day. Some children hear their parents use the terms and then go to school and repeat what they heard. Many times they don’t understand what it means, they are just repeating what was said. Many children have heard these words and have been taught what these words mean so banning this book does not help anything. A better solution would be to read the book and have a productive discussion about why that language was used, how it represents the time, why it is inappropriate in today’s society and what can be done to eliminate it from everyday use. By banning the book, we are in danger of transforming our society into a society like “Fahrenheit 451” because we are banning books and trying to hide knowledge from the public. Knowledge is power and by limiting our knowledge about these racial terms, people are limiting our power to do something about it. Our society needs to stop and look at the real problem which is not the books, but the society we are living in with its acceptance of bad language and racial slurs. Racism and inappropriate language is commonly accepted in our society so rather than banning books that can educate children on the past, perhaps leadership should ban facebook, twitter and all social media because racism is far too common on those social networking sites and they hurt more children on a daily basis than reading a book could ever do.

By banning “Of Mice and Men,” people believe they are protecting kids from being introduced to vulgar racial slurs and foul language, but in reality, children are exposed to these things every day. Racism is still common today and banning one book will not stop it. The only thing banning the book does is hinders people’s ability to reflect on the language that was used in the past to educate them on how to make a change for the future.



Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.

"Why Was "Of Mice and Men" Banned?" Yahoo Contributor Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013.

Racism in 1930s America - Of Mice and Men