Should Of Mice and Men Be Banned Worldwide?
Although Of Mice and Men is a literary classic, it is also a frequently banned book in many schools and libraries in the United States. This book has been either banned or challenged for over twenty years from a variety of different schools and libraries. John Steinbeck’s writing is taken to offense by many people, causing this book to have a negative impression. I think Of Mice and Men should not be banned, but instead be taught in EVERY school, with responsible and mature teachers. I also think libraries should hold this book open for anyone who chooses to read it.
One of the main reasons for the banning of this book is because of euthanasia. Carlson shoots Candy’s dog because it was suffering and was dying of old age anyway. If Carlson did not take the dog out of its misery, the poor dog could have gotten worse each day and even be in pain every second. Also, Lennie is shot by his best friend, George. Many people find this as an example of euthanasia and look at it as an act of crime. Rather, George did the right thing by killing Lennie, and making sure Lennie would not have to suffer in the future.
Curley would have tortured him and put him through unimaginable pain. George even made Lennie feel like everything was OK in the world by telling him that he was proud of him and that he was never mad at him. If you knew your best friend would have to die a suffering and painful death, would you allow that to happen? A second huge reason for banning this book is the vulgarity and language in the book. Many readers find the language inappropriate and think the book might leave people thinking it is OK to speak like that. John Steinbeck’s use of words is to express the way people talked in the 1930’s.
Vulgar words were used more frequently than not, and John Steinbeck got his point of history across very well by including them. We would not be learning the true history if certain pieces of it and little details were ignored or left behind. In order to understand history to its most, we must learn from our mistakes and realize what we have done wrong. All language is beautiful in the right context. A third major reason for the banning of this book is the use of segregation and racism. Crooks, an African-American who worked in the stables, had limited rights and was treated much worse than the others.
He was spoken down to, and was not allowed to stick up for himself without being threatened. While everyone else on the ranch could play any games or speak the way they wanted, Crooks was belittled and was restricted from all the fun. If Steinbeck did not add Crooks into the story, he again would not truly be teaching about history. If people do not read, learn, and understand how African-Americans were treated in the past, then history will most likely repeat itself. We must learn and understand our mistakes, in order to prevent them in the future.
One of the last reasons this book is frequently banned is because of how women are treated and portrayed. Curley’s wife is referred to as a “tart” and is set up to come across as a prostitute. Just like Crooks is treated unfairly, so is Curley’s wife. If Steinbeck did not write about Curley’s wife the way he did, he would be leaving parts of the past that need to be discussed. By reading about Curley’s wife, we can now understand how terrible it was for women in the past, and how much worse it would be if it continued today. I think Of Mice and Men also teaches important life lessons that should be followed by everyone in our everyday lives.
One important life lesson is that we are responsible for the ones we love. George is responsible for Lennie, just as Lennie is responsible for George. They took care of each other and they fulfilled each other’s life. The other person gives the other something to work for and motivation to never give up in life. Life is boring and empty without a companion by your side, and it may seem like there is nothing to live for.
Another important lesson is to follow your dreams. No matter what struggles and obstacles that got in George and Lennie’s way, they overpowered and overcame them. They worked for their dream, of living on their own ranch, and they did not let anyone or anything get in their way in attempt to go for it. Although their dream never came true, their journey towards it gives readers inspiration and motivation to never give up. Besides the many important lessons indirectly taught in this book, banning Of Mice and Men would be a violation of our right to free press, mentioned in The First Amendment.
Regardless of what anybody thinks or has to say about this book, we can all agree that this book teaches important lessons about friendship, shows determination to follow our dreams, and helps us get a true understanding of what history was truly like back in the 1930’s. I think Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck in the mid-1930’s, should not be banned in any local school or library, but instead be taught and understood by society today.