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.
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.
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.
Steinbeck conveys inequality mainly through Lennie. He is often distinguished from the crowd because of his mental disability and physical structure since he is very big. Lennie is cared for by George and sometimes even controlled. For example, Lennie is not allowed to speak when they first meet their boss at the ranch, George says to Lennie ‘” So you wasn’t gonna say a word”’ (p.25) or when he
They all want to have a friend who can be like brothers to one another, but they never get to have one. George, although he has Lennie as a company, is still a lonely man. He sets the tone for the novel early when he reminds Lennie that the life of a ranch-hand is among the loneliest of lives. The fact that George always plays solitaire (solitaire means alone) even with other people around him also suggests his loneliness. George and Lennie have a dream of owning a little farm where they can have freedom and happiness.
A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick" Crooks the black stable buck said this quote. In my opinion I would say that crooks would be one of the loneliest characters in the novel. Crooks has to go through life on the ranch without any real friends and no one to talk to.
Candy explains this by saying that Curly is “like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys…he’s mad at ‘em because he ain’t a big guy,” (Steinbeck, Page 26). He is unable to seek reassurance from the other men on the ranch because they are, in a way, afraid of him because of the power he holds over them by being the boss’s son. Curly is lonely as he cannot socialize with the men in a carefree way, nor can he be entirely comfortable with his wife, who was never truly in love with him. However, the reader is never asked to sympathize with Curly, nor does the author ever portray his disappointment in a straightforward way, opting instead to make him angry and confrontational to show that
CROOKS DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF CROOKS IN THE NOVELLA OF MICE AND MEN. CONTEXT 1930’s America was a tough place to live in for black people, or in fact, anybody that was not white. During this time, black people were treated like second class citizens and frequently found themselves segregated and ostracised due only to the fact of the colour of their skin. They did not have the same rights as white people and in some parts of America were in fact considered no better than animals. The rise of white supremacist groups such as the KKK during this era also meant that black people had to ‘know their place’ for if they didn’t they often faced severe punishment.
This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.” (68) He is acting this way because this is the way that everybody else treats him. Crooks is secluded to a small room of his own and he never is allowed to go to the barn and play with the other guys. The author’s characterization of Crooks is also negative. He calls him a nigger and says he doesn’t mind getting hell from the others.
In life justice can be compromised by many things, as in the Oxbow Incident it is compromised by emotions, the desire for power, and by ones outlook on peace. Several different key factors played into the town people’s emotions throughout the Oxbow Incident. For one most of the men in town thought that they were smarter and could do a better job than any sheriff could in running a town or catching criminals. The Men had formed a grudge against the sheriff because the state had assigned the town a sheriff that they had to share with a couple other towns in medium vicinity. Since the Sheriff was hardly ever there they felt that they were less important than other towns.