Crooks Essay

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Chapter Four of John Steinbeck's emotionally moving, but bleak, novel, Of Mice and Men, is devoted to the character of Crooks. The chapter begins and ends with this recluse character applying liniment, a medicinal fluid rubbed into the skin to soothe pain or relieve stiffness, to his "crooked" back. One of the first impressions given to readers is of his physical pain- which presumable parallels his emotional or spiritual pain. More to the point, however, the first five words of the chapter, "Crooks, the negro stable buck…” characterize the key element driving this characters particularly in providing sympathy for these characters. For in contrast the sympathy for other characters like Candy or of Curly's wife, Crooks is isolated from society by his race. So, on one level, with the character of Crooks, Steinbeck captures social injustice of the times, and, on another level, offers yet another character to symbolize the theme of loneliness and . Crook's victimization both as a lonely cripple and a black man n a prejudiced world is presented as an emotional journey that he had to deal with for his whole life. Steinbeck introduces Crooks in chapter 2 when George and Candy are discussing about life on the ranch. “Give the stable buck hell?” George asked and “Sure. Ya see the stable buck’s a nigger.” George replies “Nigger, huh?” and candy says “Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back where a horse kicked him,” In this conversation we learn that Crooks is the only black person on the ranch and that he is defined and marginalised by his occupation, his race and his disability. Notice how George asks why did the boss give the stable buck hell because he is genuinely surprised as it was not the stable buck’s fault. However, as soon as Candy says the stable buck is a nigger only then George finds it reasonable. Furthermore, Crooks is still called a nigger by Candy even

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