Of Mice and Men Crooks

1161 Words5 Pages
Of Mice and Men – Chapter Four - Crooks Essay 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: “And he had books, too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905” pg. 76 This illustrates the irony that Crooks is more intelligent than the…show more content…
Lennie disarms Crooks’ initial hostility with his simplicity which results in Crooks becoming softened by Lennie’s smile. Due to the fact he has been discriminated against and been isolated for so long, Crooks torments Lennie by suggesting George may not come back from town. His cynical behaviour isn’t deliberate but I think Crooks feels like Lennie has invaded his personal space to insult or bully him. I believe that Crooks is most similar to Candy as in the social hierarchy of the ranch, both suffer from a disability that places them in the lowest rank. As mentioned, Crooks is lonely and isolated from the others due to the colour of his skin, yet Candy is lonely because he’s not as abled as the other workers. Because he is handicapped, he cannot do the work that the other men do, so when they go off to do work, Candy is left behind. The theme of loneliness is conveyed throughout the novel. Steinbeck also portrays loneliness through characterisation. He uses sexism, racism and ageism to get his message across. When George talks to Candy and his antiquated dog, Candy states to the inarticulate George: "Give the Stable Buck hell?... Ya see the stable buck's a nigger" pg. 22 As black people were seen as inferior to white people, they were separated, which
Get Access