How Does John Steinbeck Present Crooks in of Mice and Men Essay

810 Words Dec 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
How does John Steinbeck present the character of Crooks?


In the novel "Of Mice and Men" John Steinbeck, the author, uses the character of Crooks to represent racism and symbolize the marginalization of the black community occurring at the time in which the novel is set. Crooks is significant as he provides an insight into the reality of the American Dream and the feelings of all the ranchers: their loneliness and need for company and human interaction. Crooks got his name from his "crooked back," this suggests he represents something different and he is not your average ranch hand. The reader has to decide whether Crooks deserves sympathy, or if he is just a bitter, cruel and gruff stable-buck.
We first hear of Crooks when Candy
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However "his tone was a little more friendly" and "I didn't mean to scare you" gives us the impression that Crooks has a kind heart under his blunt exterior.
Crooks brings into perspective the loneliness experienced by all the characters in "Of Mice and Men" by saying "a guy gets too lonely, an' he gets sick." He is telling of the need for human interaction, the need for company and the need for someone to care and provide security. The oppression Crooks experiences in living in a barn and not in the bunkhouse where he could play rummy as one of the group leads him to this desperate plea to be realised as equal. Just because when he cuts himself, the blood he bleeds is looked upon as different from a white perspective, this does not mean he is not entitled to benefit from human nature. John Steinbeck is portraying here the feelings of Americans of his day and age: their aloneness and their salvation - in the American Dream.
It becomes apparent that the treatment of Crooks has made him cynical. Whenever the American Dream is mentioned he dismisses it. He says scornfully "They come, an' they quit an' go on......An' never a god-damn one of 'em gets it." This stark realism gives us an impression that Crooks has absolutely no hope. However "I remember when I was a little kid....had a strawberry patch. Had an alfalfa patch....Used to turn the chickens out on the alfalfa on a sunny morning" reinforces the idea…