Explore the Ways in Which Steinbeck Portrays the Relationship Between Crooks, Candy and Curley’s Wife at This Moment in the Novel.

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This passage starts right after Crooks is accepted into the dream of Lennie and George’s. Crooks is feeling very confident because he feels finally accepted and that he is wanted and part of a group. “Crooks stood up to face her. ‘I had enough’, he said coldly. ‘You got no rights comin’ in a coloured man’s room. You got no rights messing around here at all.’” This shows that Crooks knows his rights and is standing up for them because he has so few, also because he knows he isn’t allowed in the bunkhouse so the workers and Curley’s wife have no right to be in his room. This reinforces the racism present at the time of the 1930’s when it was not allowed for a coloured man to stay with the other ranch workers. At this moment, Crooks feels utterly confident but there is a major shift of power between Crooks and Curley’s wife. “She turned to him in scorn. ‘Listen, Nigger, she said. ‘You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?’” Crooks knows automatically what she means as Curley’s wife becomes very aggressive and extremely racist towards Crooks. Curley’s wife is shocked that he even spoke to her and Steinbeck projects this though using the word “scorn”. Curley’s wife has taken complete control of the situation by implying that she would get him lynched, this was typical of the time period the book is set in. Crooks goes from being exceptionally confident and self-assured to not saying anything and trying to make himself as small as possible. “Crooks stared hopelessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew into himself.” This shows that Crooks feels that he is out of place and certainly intimidated by Curley’s wife’s sudden outburst of hostility, he knows he has no hope of winning the confrontation. Curley’s wife enjoys the power she is exercising over Crooks, knowing that she has the power in their relationship and exercising it
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