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Critical appreciation of an extract of Mice and Men.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Critical Appreciation of an Extract of Mice and Men The extract I have chosen is from the beginning of chapter four and stretches from page 71 to page 73. I chose this extract because it provides us with excellent examples of descriptions, dialogue, themes, relationships, vocabulary and language. This extract gives a detailed description of Crooks, his room and his possessions. At the beginning of the extract Lennie is not welcomed into Crooks' room, but at the end they begin to befriend each other. Steinbeck lists Crooks' possessions in a simple way in order for the reader to understand the bareness of Crooks' life. This includes 'a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905' and 'gold-rimmed spectacles'. This gives the impression that Crooks is educated and conscious of his rights. The civil code further emphasises the theme of prejudice and racism. On page 71, Steinbeck uses short descriptive sentences to describe Crooks, "Crooks was a proud, aloof man."

Middle

He wants to join George and Lennie's dream to counteract his loneliness. This is emphasised by the fact that he is willing to work for just a bed and some food and go without wages. "They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me," is a possible reference to Carlson's remark about Candy's dog. This gives the impression that the general idea within the ranch is that Crooks is inferior to the others. This suggests that Steinbeck thinks that some black people feel the same way about white people as some white people feel about black people. Steinbeck uses 'Of Mice and Men' to portray issues which he feels strongly about and does this all the way through the novel. Also, Crooks has been used by the ranch-men for entertainment. At Christmas "they let the nigger come in" and made him fight with Smitty.

Conclusion

This shows Lennie expects Crooks to know about their dream of buying their own land and to "Live on the fatta the lan", because the dream is so close to being achieved. One of the main themes in this extract is the ambition and dream of George, Lennie, Candy and Crooks. The extract I have chosen is an excellent example of the themes Steinbeck deals with and the literary techniques he uses. Also, this extract is similar to many in 'Of Mice and Men' and so summarises the novel very well. Both Lennie and Crooks use simple language and vocabulary and omit words, letters and sounds of a simple dialect. For example, "Ever´body went into town, Slim an´ George an´ ever´body", "George says I gotta stay here an´ not get in no trouble." Lennie's language is simpler than Crooks'. This is because Crooks is educated and Lennie is not, he is mentally below average. The reason for this overall simplicity is to set the scene of 1930s western America and to demonstrate the ineptness of Lennie's mind.

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