The Role Of Racism In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

753 Words4 Pages
Racism is an issue that started centuries ago and still circles its way into today’s world. People become stereotyped, are treated unequally, and are flat out disrespected just because of one’s race. In the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, we meet a character whose name is Crooks. Crooks, the African-American stable buck, is predominantly treated different from everyone else because of the color of his skin. He is called by racial slurs most of the time, is not allowed in the bunkhouse, and secludes himself after being secluded for so long. Throughout the novel, Crooks is singled out and is disrespected far more different from the other ranchers. Racism in this novel has changed Crooks’s way of his look at life. When Crooks was a young boy, his childhood was very different from the way he is treated at the ranch. His father had a lot of property in the California area. The novel explains: "I ain't a southern Negro," he said. "I was born right here in California. My old man had a chicken ranch, 'bout ten acres. The white kids come to play at our place, an' sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ol' man didn't like that. I never knew till long later why he didn't like that. But I know now." He hesitated, and when he spoke again his voice was…show more content…
After being judged and treated terribly for so long, he is racist to himself. This act of self-racism/self discrimination shows the reader how unequal Crooks feels. Another key factor is that he is not born into slavery like most African-Americans at the time. This quotation shows that Crooks is not like what he calls the “southern negro.” Now at the ranch, he is looked at like a southerner, being the only black man on the ranch. For his skin being a different color from the others, he is secluded into his own room, he is not allowed to play cards or go out with the guys, and has no one to open up to or speak
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