Crooks also has a fake hope that he is protected by his “wrights” but toughs are dashed by his argument with Curlys wife. "S'pose you couldn't go into the bunkhouse and play rummy 'cause you was black...Sure, you could play horseshoes 'til dark, but then you have to read books." This shows that Crooks pities his own circumstances and vulnerability. However on pg73 "his tone was a little more friendly" and pg77 "I didn't mean to scare you" gives us the impression that Crooks has a kind heart under his mean exterior. Crooks brings into perspective the lonely experienced of all the characters in "Of Mice and Men" by saying on pg77 "Books ain't no good.
This here is my room. Nobody got any right in here but me". Lennie, as innocent as he is, does not know about racism and does not, through the entire novella understand or use racism against Crooks. Lennie, who does not know of racism, "smiled at helplessly in an attempt to make friends". Crooks realises that Lennie is mentally disabled and Crooks then tries to explain Lennie why others discriminate against him.
Steinbeck introduces Crooks as a black man. We begin to learn about Crooks through gossip with Candy calling him derogatory terms like 'nigger' and 'stable buck'. The way he is openly referred to as 'nigger' exemplifies the casual racism directed towards him by the others- they don't insult him deliberately, but the use of the term shows he is constantly degraded both verbally and physically. This suggests to us that he is a social outcast. Readers at the time would have related to the situation as racism was still a common habit in the 1930s.
This is a pretty racist stereotype that Jean is giving off, she immediately fears the black men believing that they are criminals for no other reason than that they are black. However, Jeans racist thoughts are almost rationalized when the black men do indeed car jack the Cabots’. This incident, where the black men live up to the portrayed stereotype that Jean gives them is why people like Jean exist. Jean also is prejudice towards the Hispanic lock smith that comes to their house. Jean judges him strictly off his ethnicity, clothing, and hairstyle.
Crooks, named for his crooked back, is one of the most vulnerable characters on the ranch, mostly due to his race combined with general racist attitudes at the time. He lives by himself because he is the only black man on the ranch, and he has been so beaten down by loneliness and prejudicial treatment of that he is now suspicious of any kindness he receives. Crooks is painfully aware that his skin color is all that keeps him separate in this culture. This outsider status causes him to lament his loneliness, but he also delights in seeing the loneliness of others, perhaps because misery loves company. When Lennie arrives at his room, he turns him away, hoping to prove a point that if he, as a black man, is not allowed in white men’s houses, then whites are not allowed in his, but his desire for company ultimately wins out and he invites Lennie to sit with him.
The theme of racism is expressed throughout the book by the black character, Crooks. The way the characters treat Crooks in the book shows the racism of the characters and how they act around Crooks. One instance is when Lennie decides to go visit Crooks because his light is on. Crooks acts extremely bitter towards Lennie by saying “You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room.
At this point in the novel, one can begin to understand the loneliness and despair the two must be feeling wanting to say “I love you” in a society that forbids the word “I”. Not only is Equality restricted from expressing his true feelings to The Golden One, but he is also forced to endure this alone. His brother men are not able, nor willing to relate to Equality, because he is breaking the law of the state. On top of breaking the law, he is breaking away from the “we” and becoming an individual that was unlike his brother men. However, his determination kept him from getting discouraged.
Despite Crooks initial hostility to Lennie, he is obviously desperate for company and invites him in, telling Lennie how he fears for his own sanity and that “books ain’t no good” for company. As he tells Lennie, Crooks is so desperate for “just talking, being with another guy” that he tolerates a visitor who has no idea about what he is actually talking about and cannot offer any real sympathy or company. Steinbeck is very explicit about the fact that Crooks is separated from the others solely because he is black (even the similarly crippled Candy gets to share the bunkhouse with the men) and shows the social injustice with Crooks innocent childhood memories of life on his father’s
However, this is justified by the society he lives in. Winston has no friends if he can help it, and avoids anyone who attempts to be friendly or talk with him, because of his constant caution of the thoughtpolice. He is also a physical wreck, and his health constantly gives him pain. However, his anti-social behaviour and his physical condition can both be thanks to the society and the party governing Oceania. Winston avoids any form of social interaction, making him unpopular amongst his “comrades.” He attempts to keep clear of anybody who talks to him.
Another example is how he must live away from other workers. He has his own room in the harness room and he is not allowed in the bunkhouse. Another example in the story Candy tells about how Crooks was brought into the bunkhouse on Christmas to fight with the drunken farm workers. Candy said ‘they let the nigger come in that night’. These examples show racism was very acceptable on the ranch in the 1930’s.