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How is the theme of racism and loneliness shown through the character of Crooks in OF MICE AND MEN?

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Introduction

How is the theme of racism and loneliness shown through the character of Crooks in OF MICE AND MEN? The book 'Of Mice and Men' is based in the 1930's at this time racism was abolished but still carried on, the Great Depression was at its worst so people became lonely because they had to go and work of ranches. The Great the Depression is when the biggest banks of the USA became bankrupted, so all the people who invested in the banks lost all their money. This made some people depressed and did not think they could not cope. But in most cases they carried on with their treacherous lives. This is symbolised by Crooks in the story. He is a 'lonely' and desperate for communication for others because of his colour. John Steinbeck realised this racism at this time and separates Crooks from the rest of the ranch workers. The ranch is a microcosm to the hole of America. The first time we hear about Crooks is through Candy's speech. We are immediately shown that Crooks is not respected by Candy or the other ranch workers by announcing he is a 'nigger'. Also he is used for a brutal entertainment. At the last Christmas the white ranch workers were drinking and having an exquisite time and decided to pick on the helpless, alienated and crippled 'nigger', so they thought. ...read more.

Middle

On the ranch Crooks has been around for a very long time but has very little power and can't do much about it because of the very little respect he receives and also has a job no one wants to do or even do can do because of his better skills also putting him with the animals segregated away from the humans 'has a bunk in the harness room' because animals smell, are unclean and are disease ridden so they put a Crooks with the animals because believe he is as respectable as an animal. Also Steinbeck shows this by giving crooks 'a long box filled with straw' like the animals would be sleeping in which is dehumanising. Crooks knows that people don't like him and because of his colour they put him in a room of his own away from everybody else, an example of this is that he has 'a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn.' Plus Crooks has an injury but no one cares for him and Crooks has to be self sufficient by 'rubbing liniment on his lower back' due to a house kicking him, 'as he rubs ointment on his own back' this is a physical description of Crooks which mirrors his broken social position. ...read more.

Conclusion

Crook's is a very important character in the novel because it shows what issues of racism people had at this time. Also I think that it shows that in this time when the Great Depression was at its worst people became lonely because they had to travel around ranches to find work, there was one place where people didn't argue except the Native Americans about the racism, was in fact the racism but it showed most people that they went at the bottom of the chain and showed a ray of hope of the ranch works. Also in a larger scale the novel showed that the big banks were bulling on the smaller people for money, like the men ranch workers would pick on Curley's wife and Crook's because they thought they had more power and rights than them. Another point is that Crook's shows the theme of loneliness and isolation in this time of the Great Depression in 1930. Finally Steinbeck is very sympathetic towards Crooks in his novel not because he says that there was no racism going on in the world at this time but because he told the truth of racism and showed the full extent about Crook's pain and suffering as well as going through the Great Depression. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay is a very serious attempt to explore the issues of racism and loneliness. Points are strongly made, though sometimes a little off-key, with well-chosen quotations (though these are sometimes misquoted). It is a little rambling and repetitive and sentence construction is often very loose but the essay writer's dedication to the task shines through.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 10/06/2013

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