Character of Crooks in “Of mice and men”
Character of Crooks in “Of mice and men”
Throughout the novel “Of Mice and Men” Steinbeck presents Crook as being lonely, intelligent and hopeless. He is in a minority group and is discriminated against because he represents the black community in 1930’s America. Indeed, it is because of this discrimination that Crooks attempts to draw whatever limited amount of power he can from his surroundings. “Well I gotta right to have a light”. This implies Crooks is defensive and maybe isn’t allowed the things he wants or needs, or the things he see that other people have. He also has a “shot gun” and a “Californian civil code “. These things suggest that Crooks is physically weak and has to have protection and the law to feel power against others. “Don’t be coming in a place you’re not wanted .“ This quote suggests that Crooks doesn’t want anybody coming in his room, during that time racism was strong and Crook’s has to live on his own, he doesn’t have power over a lot of things so for him to be able to have his own room he will that power over people. Crooks’ desire to exercise power over Lennie may be a result of discrimination he has suffered from in his life.
“The white kids come to play…. My ol man didn’t like that”. This shows like most kids they are naive and therefore Crooks’ didn’t understand why his father (“ol’ man”) didn’t like him playing with the white kids. Crook’s experience of racial conflict and discrimination throughout his life teaches him why his father didn’t want him to play with them. “ I can’t play coz I’m black” this quote is another example of the way society was in the 1930s and how racism was ok it also links to the theme lonely because it shows that nobody wants to be near Crooks’ or do anything with him. Crooks’ lack of social status means he does not only suffer from discrimination from the men on the ranch but also Curley’s wife. Crooks says “maybe you better go along to your own house now we don’t want no trouble” by what he is saying implies that if they are caught with or talking to her there would be trouble, and that she is dangerous to them. And one point in the novel Curley’s wife is really vindictive towards Crooks and says “well you better keep your place then nigger, I could get your strung up on a tree so easily it aint even funny.’ Crooks’ is like prey in this society and is at a disadvantage because he is black. Candy’s wife threatens him by saying she could get him killed and could do this because she is white.
This comment instantly makes Crooks silent and returns him back to his social standpoint by responding to Curley’s wife buy saying “yes, ma’am in a toneless voice. Crooks’ also attempts to exert power over Lennie in his shack although with limited success. “Crooks face lit up with the pleasure of his torture.” This may be the first time in Crooks’ life when he has more power than another human being. Lennie panics and struggles to understand, this allows Crooks to exert more control. Lennie’s mentally disabled and is used to discrimination and violence as were black people but because of Lennie’s lack of understanding it allows Crooks to wield power over him and he enjoys it. Crooks’ says “it’s just being with another guy that’s all”. This shows that Crooks’ believes that it does not matter what you say to some on it’s that you say something. He’s a very lonely person due to the fact he never has anyone to talk to. Crooks is saying having company is what matters, there’s no need to be choosy about the company itself.
This shows his desperation after being isolated for so long. Crooks’ is shown to be a bitter man who sees others dreams as futile. “Nobody gets to heaven”. Crooks believes that the dream is impossible and has no hope for anybody moving past there social class and becoming rich. He mentions that tons of men have come through the ranch and said that they were going to get some land but it never works out for them so it leads to Crooks thinking the dream is completely unachievable. After Lennie and candy go one about how they will get the land and how there’s no stopping them and they seem so sure about it, Crooks says “if you guys need a hand I could come and lend it”.
Crook’s stops being so negative for a moment and starts to believe in the dream. He feels so comfortable with Lennie and Candy that he forgets his place in that society, but after Curley’s wife leaves he says “forget about it just foolin. I wouldn want to go no place like that”. Crooks’ has seen all the trouble that people cause when they get together and he has decided he doesn’t want any part of it and thinks that the farm shared by three men would become to chaotic and that George would become tired of responsibility.