The Presentation Of Crooks In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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In the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, Steinbeck introduces us to a character named ‘Crooks’. He is not shown as a main character of the story, but is given much light in section 4, especially in this extract. Steinceck presents the character of Crooks in order to represent the racial attitudes towards black people at the time of the Great Depression and to show us the negative stereotypes of black people in an American society in the 1930s.
At the beginning of Chapter 4, Steinbeck gives careful detail of Crooks’ room when he writes, “a long box filled with straw, on which his blankets were flung”. Crooks’ bunk is described as an untidy and uncomfortable place to rest, much similar to the animals’ with whom he shares the harness room with. The importance
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The marginalisation of black people at the time in America is not the only cause of Crooks’ loneliness, however. The harsh verb “demanded” suggests that he tried to ignore the segregation against him by pretending that it was him who wished not to mix with the white ranch workers, rather than the opposite. Nearer the beginning of the chapter, amongst Lennie’s entrance, Crooks also says “Don‘t come in a place where you‘re not wanted.” Crooks is shown to be harsh to Lennie, and trying to push him away. This suggests that Crooks’ loneliness has caused him to no longer accept any kindness, whether it is from a white or black man. However, because of the segregation between the black and white workers, Crooks seems to be talking to himself rather than to Lennie. This is suggested by Crooks, already being aware of the discrimination he faces by being excluded from the bunk house with the white workers, he is ’not wanted’ by them which is exactly what he says to Lennie.

In conclusion, Steinbeck’s character of Crooks is used to convey the effects of racial oppression and loneliness for black people during 1930’s America. Using his situation on the ranch to give us a glimpse of society and the realism. Steinbeck presents Crooks on a personal level
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