On the other hand, Slim’s relationship with Crooks exhibits a number of crucial aspects such as the fact that he uses Crook’s name when mentioning or conversing with him: ‘sure, Crooks’. This indicates that Slim, unlike the rest of the ranch men, possesses morals which prevent him from abusing Crooks in the same manner as them. This is due to the merciful and benevolent character which Slim is reputable for in the ranch. Steinbeck displays Crooks’ attitude towards Slim as respectful but servile due to the formal way in which Crooks addresses him: ‘Mr Slim’.
However, Crook’s formal manner towards Slim can also be viewed as a protective mechanism because he knows exactly where he stands in the white society, therefore, he is formal in order to live up to the expectations of the relationships between black and white people, and to protect himself from their wrath. Furthermore, through the use of ‘That won’t do them no good’, Steinbeck contextualises Crooks as wise and intelligent, and conjures the theme of a ‘silent protest’ as Crooks does not verbalise his direct opinion of ‘you are wrong’ and ‘I know more than you’ because he completely accepts his status within the ranch.
Adverbs such as ‘quietly’ are used in reference to the way Crooks entered the bunkhouse to emphasise that Crooks understands that he is inferior to white people, so he must maintain his distance from them despite the fact that he longs for their companionship and friendship due to his intense loneliness. This is emphasised further by ‘put his head in’ which displays the concrete barrier separating black and white people, and the fact that Crooks comprehends that he must not cross this barrier in order to prevent his life from being snatched away from him.
Moreover, Crook’s eyes are ‘patient’, revealing that patience is a regime for him within the ranch and he has grown accustomed to it. The relationship between Crooks and Lennie is by far the most captivating of all relationships. It is quite different to the relationships between Crooks and the other characters due to a range of distinct reasons; the main reason stemming from Lennie and his innocent mind.
Steinbeck deliberately uses Lennie as the first white man to speak to Crooks and enter his room, with the intention of highlighting the possibilities of unity between black and white people, as Lennie is incapable of developing prejudiced views about people. He cannot judge them by the colour of their skin or by their status due to his stunted mind; he simply sees them as human beings. This accumulates the idea that racism and discrimination is instilled within people, they are not born to hate.
In addition, repetition of ‘light’ symbolises hope and a pathway to freedom for Crooks, and Lennie himself represents a key to unlock the door of hope and freedom within Crook’s being. ‘light’ also represents purity, and due to Lennie’s pure and innocent nature, he is drawn to this light like a magnet which pulls towards it what it is attracted to and sees friendship with another man at the end of that light. Furthermore, Steinbeck creates pathos and sympathy towards Crooks when he repeats ‘i have a right’ because it emphasises the very few precious rights Crooks has and his struggle to cling onto each and every one of them dearly.
In addition, pathos is created with Crook’s confession as we realise that Crooks had lived the ‘Dream’ before, but it was taken away from him due to the taboo of racism and the fear of his rights taken away from him similarly to his dream. In addition, Crooks constantly refers to his rights because his pride gets in his way, he cant go into the bunkhouse so why should he allow white men to enter his property whenever they wish? Crooks and Candy’s relationship conveys that racism exists even amongst the mere outsiders themselves, in this case the older generation (Candy).
Upon arrival at Crook’s door, Candy deliberately doesn’t enter as he is aware of the taboo which this could cause. He is cautious of the fact that mingling with a black man would be deeply frowned upon by the white society which refrains him from entering straight away like lennie: ‘he made no attempt to enter’ despite the fact that he wants some company, even if its from a ‘nigger’. This denotes the degree of loneliness which is experienced by predominantly all of the ranch men. Candy asks Crooks if he’s ‘seen Lennie’ and Crooks casually replies ‘ya mean the big guy?
‘ which reiterates the bitter truth of the fact that under other circumstances; they would be very close friends as they both have a great deal in common, such as the fact that they both don’t fit into the society comfortably. furthermore, Candy looks into the room ‘blindly’ as he is unable to see the hope and purity as clearly as lennie. Also due to racism, foul treatment towards crooks, and the fact that he sides with the oppressors rather than the oppressed, Candy’s heart has formed a sinful barrier which obscures his vision from viewing the elements of purity protruding from Crook’s room.
Eventually, Candy is invited into Crook’s room and he walks in ’embarrassed’ in contrast to the way Lennie entered which indicates that he is well aware the taboo, yet he somehow finds it shameful that he hasn’t spoken against it for all these years; and now he is being invited into Crook’s room by Crooks himself. Candy takes it upon himself to develop his relationship with Crooks by introducing the dream to him, this makes Crooks hopeful especially when money is mentioned: ‘you say you got the money?
‘ and for a split second, Crooks sees a chance of a better future for himself:’ if you… guys would want a hand’ he seizes the chance to probe them further into letting him participate in their dream, however Steinbeck uses ellipses to generate the idea that Crooks is an intelligent man and he is still wary of his place in the white society, so he is careful with his words and with the level of trust that he shows towards Candy.
Alternatively, a sharp reality check is created upon the entrance of Curley’s wife and George into Crook’s room. Steinbeck brings in Curleys wife just when Crooks is beginning to turn over a new leaf with white people to lure him back to reality and erase any glimmer of hope which he may have experienced about ever reaching the same level as white people. Her sudden entrance and elimination of hope through one short yet sharp statement: ‘any of you boys seen curley?
‘ creates a sense of pathos for Crooks as he only had hope for a few seconds, yet she managed to steal even that from him just as quickly; depicting her dominance and control over him as a white woman and also how unpredictable life can be. She also stand ‘still in the doorway’ meaning she blocks his pathway to escaping the torture he endures, and she blocks out his hopes and dreams.
Furthermore, Crooks switches to attacking her with his standard defence mode ‘you got no right’ when she becomes exceedingly insulting, however when she snaps back with ‘you know what i can do to you if you open your trap’ he stares ‘hopelessly’ at her indicating that for a split second, he believed that he may have gained control over her. in addition, Crooks ‘drew into himself’ and returned to his usual servile manner: ‘yes maam’ as a way of confirming that he now knows where he stands in the white society and he knows that in order to survive, he must make himself invisible in order to stay out of trouble’s way.
Similarly, George stands ‘framed in the doorway’- he, as the leader of this dream permanently blocks the significant doorway as a way of concluding that Crooks can never be part of them, except that Crooks withdraws before he is refrained from joining due to his pride which prevents him from being downgraded: ‘well just forget it’. Moreover, Steinbeck refers to the door again: ‘Crooks looked at the door’ symbolising that just as lennie had brought hope into his life, that hope had been robbed from him when Lennie departed, leaving Crooks to resume his life as usual, as if nothing had happened.
to conclude, Steinbeck presents and develops the relationships between Crooks and other characters as very complex and each of them explores a different theme. however, the theme of racism is present within nearly all of the relationships apart from with lennie. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.