Archetypes In Of Mice And Men

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“I now see nothing to give ground to hope—nothing of man” (Unknown). This thought regarding the Great Depression translates directly to the classic novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and its characters. In this book, various archetypes go through life on a ranch during the Great Depression. One of these characters was African American stable buck Crooks. He struggles with life in the 1930’s time period. Steinbeck uses the historical setting of the Great Depression to help characterize Crooks as hopeless. First, the disdain with which the other men show towards Crooks. When George and Lennie first arrive at the ranch Candy introduces Crooks by saying, “Ya see the stable buck’s a ni***r” (Steinbeck 20). Crooks is generally referred to only as the n-word, as seen in this quote. Crooks being surrounded by people treating him like he’s less than human has the natural effect of him believing he is. This is normal for the time period of the 1930’s. According to World Book, “Unemployment rates were much higher for African Americans than for whites” (Mitchener). This quote means that many employers held African Americans in disdain. ¨Much” insinuates that there was a …show more content…

In chapter 7, Lennie explains his and George’s dream of owning a farm with rabbits. That idea, in of itself, represents the American dream. Crooks response is to claim, “ Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land” (74). In essence, this means that he considers the American dream impossible. In the setting, his sentiment was reciprocated by many people. According to research, “Many people were beginning to feel that the American dream… was fraudulent” (Great). As the world fought its hardest against the people of this time, including Crooks, they began to give up on the idea of the American dream. Crooks acknowledges that because of his race he may never get that ideal life. Hence, his feeling of inability to do what he wants makes him

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