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Of Mice and Men

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The "N" Word

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The word nigger is used throughout Of Mice and Men. Why did Steinbeck use this word versus a less offensive word, such as Black or African American?

A

John Steinbeck was a racist so that would have been the only word he knew to use.

B

John Steinbeck's audience in 1937 would likely not have taken offense to the word, even though it was more politically correct not to use it.

C

The term has a negative connotation, which enhances the mood of the story and reveals the author's tone.

D

While this term might be offensive today, during the 1930s it had a positive connotation and was widely used.

E

This is the term most people used to refer to African-Americans in the 1930s so the word would help keep the dialogue historically accurate.