How do the details in this passage (page 98-99) add to your understanding of Crooks?
The beginning of this passage describes Crooks’ room in great detail. Crooks, the “negro” stable buck had a room of his own, with no family or friends. The use of this detail shows the life of a typical itinerant worker who doesn’t have the time or money to support a family. This highlights the main theme of the novel: loneliness. Living alone in his room Crooks craves the company of others but, because of his coloured skin and the era he lived in, he is shown to be separated from the other ranch workers and thus suffering from loneliness more than his colleagues.
Because of his skin colour, Crooks is shown to have “kept his distance and demanded that other people kept theirs.” Steinbeck describes how crooks wants others to stay away from him and reciprocates their feelings towards him but, later in the novel, he reveals that he is very lonely all by himself and would like to have someone to talk to. However, because he is so used to being shunted away by society, he pushes everyone away from him before they have the chance to do the same, portraying him as a “proud, aloof man”. Again, this fact highlights Crooks' loneliness and, even though he has convinced himself he doesn’t need anyone else, he knows the pleasure of having company and this is something that can’t be replaced by the many possessions he has acquired.
As Crooks has been shown to have many belongings, the reader gets a sense of permanence that shows a great contrast to the bindle full of objects the rest of the ranch workers possess. He is described to own many books, showing he was an intellectual man who knew how to read and enjoyed reading. This could again show the racial discrimination that was not uncommon in the 1930’s as he could have been intelligent enough to be more than a stable buck. However, he may have been denied this opportunity because of the colour of his skin. Also, Steinbeck’s use of...