Of Mice and Men: Character Study Crooks

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Crooks is used by John Steinbeck, to symbolize the struggle of the black community in the time the book is set, and what loneliness can do to a person. Crooks is a black man, but at the time the novel was written, blacks were referred to as "niggers", which is a white insult. Being a nigger, Crooks is made an outcasts by the white workers at the ranch and he resents the struggle of all the black people in that era and what they had to deal with on a day today bases. As he says in pg74 "If I say something, why it's just a nigger sayin' it" and this shows his anger at being pushed to the side and how at the time the colour of your skin affected peoples opinion’s. Being so alone has made him seem mean and cold hearted, but its all a mask to hide his self-pity and loneliness and Crooks starts to believe that he is a lesser human. He says to Lennie pg72 "You got no right to come in my room...You go on get outa my room. I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse and you ain't wanted in my room." He continues by saying that the whites believe he stinks and one can interpret this as a way of saying that the whites would find it a disgrace that a nigger should breathe the same bunkhouse air as them. 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. A guy needs someone - to be near him. A

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