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How Does Steinbeck Use The Character Of Crooks To Highlight Certain Issues Which Were Prominent At The Time The Novel Of Mice And Men Was Written?

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Introduction

How Does Steinbeck Use The Character Of Crooks To Highlight Certain Issues Which Were Prominent At The Time The Novel 'Of Mice And Men' Was Written? 1930's hit, America lay in financial ruins and deep devastation as the great depression strikes. Causing economic depression throughout the 20th century and leaving many lives in tatters as American citizens face losing money, stock, homes, savings and more importantly jobs. Dealing with unemployment men turn helplessly to migrant working. Moving away from home (if they have one) and getting into manual labour on farms for low pay and a place to stay although it wasn't structured employment and they found themselves moving from place to place. As Poverty led to working on ranches 'of mice and men' was born, a novel written in the late 1930's to unravel the issues and unfair ways of the 30's and the great depression. Highlighting poverty, loneliness, sexism and more importantly Racism, the main theme of the story. Being a major issue Racism swarmed America and started taking over most white peoples heads. Black slavery was behind them but unfortunately racism/discrimination towards different races wasn't and the Jim Crow laws were soon introduced quickly segregating coloured people and making them outcasts in there own countries. So we were 100 years after slavery, but we were smack bang in the middle of segregation and this, was also not a nice experience for the black race. In a bid to stop the black Americans from being equal, the southern states passed a series of laws known as Jim Crow laws which discriminated against blacks and made sure that they were segregated from whites. ...read more.

Middle

Lenny doesn't use his white status in his discussion with crooks what so ever and in the conversation crooks actually has the upper hand for once. Crooks says "this here's my room. Nobody got any right in here but me" and trys to get rid of Lenny, but its not that he doesn't want the company because he does, that's what he craves the most but it's a matter of principle, he has the idea that white people don't let him in there room, so why should he let them in his room? He's read up his place in society and he knows his rights, and one of his rights is his room. Crooks snaps at Lenny saying "I aint no southern nigro" showing he hasn't accepted the fact that he's less of a man then Lenny, he knows he's the same apart from a colour and he has a confidence. He starts patronizing and teasing Lenny to make himself feel better as he see's someone that's an easier target then himself to pick of which proves a nasty streak. Upsetting Lenny saying things like "spose George went into town and you never heard of him no more" and "they'll take you to the booby hatch. They'll tie you up with a collar, like a dog". Crooks didn't always used to be segregated either, he went to a normal school and had white friends but his dad didn't approve as he knew it wouldn't last and they'd grow up and turn on him. "on my old mans chicken ranch" his family owned a chicken ranch so he wasn't from a poor typical black slave family, showing the great depression could put you in circumstances unlike the ones you grew up in. ...read more.

Conclusion

He turns cold on the other two again and withdraws his offer to work for company although he'd still love to do it, he thinks it's just a far away dream as black people will never have equal friendships with white people. Curley's wife has proved she's racist but she's not alone in that, she threatened to have him hung. All she'd of had to do was run back to the ranch and tell the boss or Curley he touched her and he'd be killed without trial, just as a form of revenge. Crook's would just have to be accused by a white person and there authority would get him killed, that was the reality of being a black man, that was the reality of crook's situation. Taking the racism and unfairness of segregation in the 1930's Steinbeck has successfully created this character of a black man, trapped in his crippled body, desperately lonely and abused but given him an identity, a personality, a proper background and family and made him a real person. He's highlighted how badly they were treated, how they felt, what they went through and what we cant let happen again in the future. Crooks wasn't a part of the story as such but he was there to represent what it was like at the time and the seriousness of the horrors of racism that went on and he's done that outstandingly giving a perfect picture and make us as an audience feel for the character of Crooks and actually think about what went on back then and to help ensure segregation will never return. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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