The 1930’s were a difficult time to live in.
The stock market crashed and millions were out of work. People were too distressed about their own lives to remember an entire class of people. These people were those with cognitive disabilities. There were little to no resources available to them. There was nobody there to take care of them, or to help them find jobs. They simply could not fit in.
A perfect example of this is portrayed in “Of Mice and Men”, by John Steinbeck where we meet a number of people who could not fit in. Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” deals with the scant options given to the mentally disabled in the 1930’s. In the beginning of the novel we notice that George and Lennie had to leave Weed because Lennie assaulted a women. He likes to pet things, but does he cannot discern the difference between petting a mouse and petting a woman’s hair.
On page 7 Lennie said “I could pet it(mouse) while we walked along.” The quote holds value because it shows the Lennie loves to touch things, for no particular reason other than the enjoyment of touching something soft. It shows his low mental capacity.
This lack of discretion shows low mental capacity. Without someone to make this discretion for him he winds up getting chased by a pack of dogs. Not only do we see his low mental capacity in weed, but also when he gets to the farm in Chapter 2.Lennie’s low mental ability is apparent once again when he talks to Crooks. During his conversation with him the only thing on his mind is rabbits, rather than the topic at hand. A quote that exhibits this is on pg.71 when Crooks says “If I say something, why it’s just a nigger sayin it”.
Lennie responds by saying “How long you think it’ll be before them pups will be old enough to pet? This quote holds weight because it shows.