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In the novel "Of Mice and Men" the character of Crooks is used by John Steinbeck, the author, to symbolise the black community.

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Introduction

Character Study on Crooks In the novel "Of Mice and Men" the character of Crooks is used by John Steinbeck, the author, to symbolise the black community. Crooks is a significant character as he provides an insight into the reality of the American Dream and the feelings of all the ranchers: their "loneliness" and need for "company" and human interaction. John Steinbeck makes the reader to decide whether Crooks deserves sympathy, or if he is just a cruel, bitter and gruff stable-buck. Crooks is a black man, but at the time the novel was written, blacks were referred to as "niggers." Being a nigger, Crooks is excluded by the whites at the ranch and he resents this. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Crooks pities his own circumstances and weakness. When "his tone was a little more friendly" it gives us the impression that Crooks has a kind heart under his blunt exterior. Crooks brings into perspective the loneliness experienced by all the characters in "Of Mice and Men" by saying "...A guy needs someone - to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody." He is telling of the need for human interaction, the need for company and the need for someone to care and provide security. The oppression Crooks experiences in living in a barn and not in the bunkhouse where he could play "rummy" as one of the group leads him to this desperate plead to be realised as equal. ...read more.

Conclusion

This harsh realism gives us an impression that Crooks has absolutely no hope. However when he talks about his childhood, when his Father had land and a ranch, he reinforces the idea that everyone has a dream, a goal and a fantasy. Crooks may be pessimistic, yet even he, the insignificant, fearful, gruff, resentful, alone "nigger", has a dream, the hope of one day experiencing the joys of his childhood again. Should we interpret Crooks as a scornful, evil, unimportant person? After all, he's only a "nigger". Yet one can feel sympathy for this rejected man who, under his rough exterior, has humanity and all its qualities. Crooks gives us a vivid picture of life at the time of the novel, its hopes, fears and injustice. ...read more.

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