Theme Of Crooks In Of Mice And Men

912 Words4 Pages
What is the role of Crooks in the novella?

In the novella “Of Mice and Men” Steinbeck uses the character Crooks as a vehicle to illuminate the silent suffering of the black community in the 1930s. In the novella, Crooks is used to explore the themes of isolation, prejudice and how Steinbeck believed that the American dream was an unrealistic ideal — a fantasy.

Steinbeck uses Crooks to highlight the cruel treatment that black people had endured in the 1930s. When Crooks is mentioned for the first time, Candy says that the boss “gave the stable buck hell” because Lennie and George were late arriving, but Candy then justifies the bosses’ actions by informing them that the “stable buck’s a nigger.” This justification implies that due to Crooks’ skin colour, he is automatically treated as a lesser human being that can be used as a tool by the hands of his white superiors. On the other hand, ranch workers like Candy, do acknowledge him as being a “nice fella” as they let him in on Christmas. This may link to the idea that they do not hate Crooks but that their racism is systemic; they have grown older to accept stereotypes against black people as being ordinary. Furthermore, his name “Crooks” emphasises the fact that he’s a possession to all white people; he has been branded with a name that reflects his physical disability which in the same sense resembles how slave masters would name their slaves. Additionally, his “little shed” also identifies how his hard work is overlooked
Open Document