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Of Mice and Men Essay

Explain how Steinbeck presents the character of crooks in of mice and men. What is the significance of his role? Explain how Steinbeck presents the character of crooks in of mice and men. What is the significance of his role? In the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck, the author, uses the character of Crooks to represent racism and show the marginalization of the black community occurring at the time in which the novel is set (1930’s). Crook provides the reality of the Jim Crow law and the feelings of all the ranchers: their loneliness and need for company.

We first hear of the Name Crooks when Candy calls him a “nigger,” this is meant as a white insult, in 2013 this would of be seen as racism and unacceptable. Candy also mentions Christmas when crooks had a fight with smitty. ‘So he took after the nigger, done pretty good too. The guys wouldn’t let him use his feet, so the nigger got him’ this implies that the term “nigger” is acceptable at the time period is in the 1930’s during the Depression era and is what they would. The term “nigger” is used by most of the ranchers, Steinbeck proves that the term is used originally and black people were seen as unworthy.

Crooks got his name from his “crooked back,” this was from when he had a horse kicking him in the back. John Steinbeck describes Crooks room as a “little shed that leaned of the wall of the barn” Steinbeck uses the phrase ‘’leaned’’ this is explaining the conditions or his room and how he had to live even the fact that he has to live with horses when the other men have a bunk house and get to play cards and sleep in appropriate beds show that crooks was treated differently.

Steinbeck also uses the description of ‘Crooks bunk was a long box filled with straw, Steinbeck uses this to show that he had a completely different way of living unlike the white men in the bunkhouse as they slept in proper beds on the other hand he also tells us about crooks possessions, “battered magazines and a few dirty books’’, ‘’tattered dictionary’’ this Is another way of showing how passionate he is about his rights and how much he reads. ]

He mentions to lennie after their argument about George that when he was a kid he lived on a farm with chickens and had a strawberry patch and fed them alfalfa it looked almost like George and lennies real American dream. Crooks gets judged by the whites at the ranch. As he says “If I say something, why it’s just a nigger sayin’ it” and this shows his anger at being pushed to the side. Being judged has made him look cruel, but also has turned him into a man who needs sympathy.

Crooks confront Lennie and say “You got no right to come in my room….. You go on get outa my room. I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse and you ain’t wanted in my room. ” He’s trying to show Lennie that black people are segregated to white people and treated completely different he owns ‘Californian civil code ‘he is desperate to knows his rights as it says the verb ‘mauled copy’ this also shows when he uses mauled it’s the state of the book that its ripped and in a state because he has spent so much time to read the book.

Steinbeck uses crooks in a full chapter to show to the reads how important the character crooks was to him and the significance of his roll we can tell by reading this chapter how much he wanted to get his point across about racism in his time, This gives us a feeling of sympathy for crooks because he was on his own in the barn, This is because of the other ranchers was racist and segregated. In a section in the book Steinbeck mentions were Curleys wife comes in and argues with crooks because crooks lashed out she threatened to get crooks lynched Steinbeck uses this part to show even the hated of them all can get a black person


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