Just as Havisham and Curley’s wife’s isolation is because of their gender, Crooks in “Of Mice and Men” is presented as the epitome of the frustration and loneliness caused by isolation. However, Crooks’s isolation is not due to his gender, but his colour and race. In “Of Mice and Men”, Steinbeck presents Crooks as an isolated character due to his race. He names Crooks as Crooks because he has a crooked back and he is called “Nigger” implying that he is unimportant. Steinbeck portrays Crooks’s loneliness through “this is just a nigger talking a bust-back nigger. So it don’t mean nothing” and “nobody’d listen to you”, these can be inferred as Crooks has a low status in the ranch, no one has ever listened to him. This can also be referred to the
Crooks is a literate black man who tends horses on the ranch. He has long been the victim of oppressive violence and prejudice and has retired behind a facade of aloofness and reserve, his natural personality deadened and suppressed by years of antagonism. Crooks is the only black man in the novel. He has a cynical intelligence and a contemptuous demeanor that he uses to prevent others from inevitably excluding him because of his race. This sign of intelligence is conveyed when Steinbeck describes Crook’s bunkhouse:
Crooks, the African American stable hand of the Tyler ranch, was discriminated for his skin color and could not imagine his dreams would ever to come true because of it. Crooks grew up on his father’s ranch with his brothers and they were happy. He worked hard for his American Dream of eventually living off the ‘fat of the land’ with George and Lennie. Crooks' home is, a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn “This suggests that he is isolated from the other men and treated like the animals he cares for and as such is made to live with them” (“Effects of Segregation and Racism in Of Mice and Men Chapter 4”). He came to the quick realization that it is impossible to go along with George and Lennie and he does not see any dream with white men possible.
One night when George goes out with the other men he leaves Lennie alone to play with his pup when he wanders into Crook’s room. Even though the majority of the time Crooks plays mind games with Lennie he ends up expressing his dream of equality. At this time period black people are still heavily discriminated against which effects how others treat him and how he accepts others. "'Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me." (Steinbeck ___). Even though Crooks is just like all the other men on the farm he is still viewed in a negative way because of his skin colour. Afterwards, Crooks begins to describe his child hood discrimination does not exist and giving him a sense of
In ‘Of Mice and Men’ most of the characters are subjected to discrimination and prejudice. The prejudice can be seen most in the characters Lennie Small, Crooks and Curley’s Wife.
In his short book or novella Of Mice and Men, author John Steinbeck draws attention to migrant farm workers in the Depression era of the 1930s. Through his story he looks at human nature in the areas of men’s friendship, loneliness, and meanness or bullying. This essay looks at Steinbeck’s depiction of the tendency to bully others and that the tendency seems to come from their own weakness. This meanness is shown in the relationships of the characters. The bullying is physical, psychological, and emotional and nearly all of the characters demonstrate it, including George, Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife and it is contrasted to the unintentional violence of Lennie.
Crooks is the stable boy, he is neat, likes books and is pretty quiet. He is also black, because of this he is discriminated be the other men at the farm. This prejudice leads Crooks to be extreme isolated, left to tend the horses alone. When Lennie tries to make friends with Crooks he reacts defensively, as the text states, “Crooks scowled, but Lennie's disarming smile defeated him. "Come on in and set a while," Crooks said. "'Long as you won't get out and leave me alone, you might as well set down." His tone was a little more friendly.” This quote shows that since Crooks hasn’t had any friends for so long that he almost can't deal with someone trying to be nice and interact with him.
Even though Crooks, a black stable hand, has been around the Ranch longer than most people and he is still probably one of the most lonely. This lack of contact with other people has made him severely bitter especially when people enter his personal space. He creates his personal space with books because it helps him cope with the loneliness. So when Lennie tries to befriend him he freaks out by exclaiming, “You got no right to come in to my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in her but me.”(68) In addition to Crooks being lonely he is also segregated from all the other workers. He lives in the barn with the animals instead of the bunkhouse with the others. It’s also very hard for Crooks to associate with the others, because during the time period blacks are seen as a lower class of people. When Crooks states, “Guys don’t come in to a colored man’s room very much.”(75) It shows how little contact he has with the others because of how segregated he is. This segregation mirrors the Jim Crow laws that were active during this period. Crooks’s treatment on the ranch represents the racial discrimination against blacks in
During 1929, the Great Depression became the event that shook America. People lost their jobs, which resulted in unemployment and homelessness. Hobos and “Okies” tried moving to California did not accept the jobless migrations because they feared their opportunities for success would be lost. In Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men several characters experience cruelty because society outcasts them. These characters include Lennie, Candy, and Crooks. Of the three characters, Crooks has the least opportunity for success because he's African-American and handicap.
There is a lot of racial prejudice shown in this novel towards Crooks, the black stable-hand. Crooks, the “more permanent than the other men” (67), had his own “little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn” (66) with “more possessions than he could carry on his back” (67). He, "ain’t wanted in the bunk house" (68) just because he is "black, they play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black" (68). Curley’s wife would never call him by his name, and treated him awfully while abusing her position as the boss’ son’s wife. “’Listen, Nigger’, she said, ‘you know what I can do to you if you open you trap’"(80).
In Steinbeck’s ‘of mice and men’ set in 1930’s, both Crooks and Curley’s wife are defenseless victims of social prejudice which leads to their sadness and depression. Crooks, being a black man is discriminated and segregated towards by all the other ranchers “They play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black- Crooks” whereas Curley’s wife being a woman is expected to stay at home and take care of the house “Why don't she get the hell back in the house where she belongs- Carlson”. Furthermore Steinbeck as well as the ranchers view Curley’s wife as “trouble” in Candy’s words and she is later referred as ‘jail-bait’ and ‘tramp’ by other men. Consequently both Crooks and Curleys wife choose to express their hurt in different ways: Crooks holes up in his room with his books in order to escape the harsh reality where he is treated as an outcast while Curley's wife does so by clamoring for attention and desperately trying to be noticed either by creating ‘trouble’ or flirting with the ranchers.
Crooks seems powerless because the other workers on the ranch isolate him as a result of his race. In the novella, Crooks has his own living space and bedroom that is separated from the others; he rarely lets anyone come into his room. One day, Lennie, an outsider with a mental disability enters his room and starts to talk with Crooks. “‘Why ain’t you wanted?’ Lennie asked. ‘Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink’” (Steinbeck 68). Crooks knows that because he is
Steinbeck illustrates how unfair society is when Crooks confesses to Lennie about how he feels alienated: “ S’pose you couldn't go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ‘cause you was black.” (pg. 72). The significance of the quote is Crooks desires company, but that is unacceptable since he is a black man. We see that Crooks wants company and can’t achieve that, but what is easy to overlook is that society restricts him of other potential opportunities not just being able to have conversations with the other ranchers. The character Crooks may have dreams, but society Crushes them with racial discrimination. Society makes achieving any goal or desire exceedingly difficult if you do not measure up to its requirements. Meaning, that if society privileges something the binary opposition does not receive the equal opportunities or freedom, as many believe. Alike with Curley’s wife society depicts the both of them as inferior to white men, no matter their character. This makes achieving desires difficult for African americans in a society where white is privileged. Society shapes Crooks and others who don’t meet society's expectation, into believing that they don’t belong and this creates tension between the people of this binary opposition of black versus white. Crooks illustrate the idea that society mis-shapes the minds
“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” This quote, once said by E. B. White, excellently states what the novel, Of Mice and Men, is trying to clearly state. Of Mice and Men is a profound novel that has many things to teach society. This novel, written by John Steinbeck, reflects many flaws in the world today. It mirrors many of the characteristics that every human possesses. Prejudice is still a common way of thinking in today’s society, and to the people who feel victimized, it can be hard to overcome. Curley’s wife, Lennie, and Crooks all deal with prejudice against themselves different ways.
When Lennie, a worker on the farm, enters Crooks room he immediately becomes hostile because, he is not used to people coming into his room to talk to him. He reacted that way because people on the farm don't want to talk to him just because he is black therefore he was surprised when Lennie comes to talk with him because rarely anybody interacts with him. “ They play cards in there, but i cant play because i'm black.” (Steinbeck 68). When Lennie enters his room to talk Crooks, the stable buck on the farm, Crooks starts to antagonise Lennie by saying George isn't coming back from the town even though that is