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'Of Mice And Men'

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Bearing in mind the social, cultural and historical content how does John Steinbeck portray the black American in his novel 'of mice and men'? John Steinbeck's novel 'of mice and men' was published in 1937. This was in the middle of the Great Depression. When the novel was written in the 1930's America was a deeply racist society, despite the fact that slavery had been abolished in 1864 at the end of the civil war. Steinbeck uses Crooks (the black stable buck) to expose racist attitudes and protest against the injustice shown towards black people. Steinbeck puts across the message that racism towards Crooks is both mindless and deeply ingrained in American society, because of the way he has scripted Candy saying the word 'nigger' to Crooks or calling him a 'nigger' so casually even though he likes Crooks. 'Nigger' is a nasty strong word that could shock or insult black people. Remember the Christmas party where the white Americans 'let' Crooks in to the party. ...read more.


I tell ya a guy gets lonely and gets sick". Crooks was saying this to Lennie trying to get the message across that he needs someone to be there for him to be with and to talk to. His loneliness is also proved by having lots of books and magazines. At first, Crooks looks like a nasty character not letting Lennie in, but reading more into the chapter, we realise that Crooks is like this because of the way he has been brought up not to like white people. Another reason why he could of turned Lennie away the way he did is, maybe he thought that Lennie was going to give him a bit of stick and humiliate him like some of the other people on the ranch do. However after talking to Lennie and getting to know him, Crooks can see that Lennie isn't like the others, he cares more about other people. Crooks grew up with his Dad in California. ...read more.


"...nobody'd listen to you, an' you no it. Nobody'd listen to you". She says this because its true nobody would listen to him because they don't want to listen about a black person and they wouldn't even care if he was getting bullied. Steinbeck seems to have included this as a harsh reflection of white American society. Crooks tells Candy he does not want to be on the farm, because he may feel isolated as the other man are all white. He is also annoyed with them for intruding on his life as he is a very private man. The reality is that Crooks will never realise the American Dream because he is a black man living in a segregated society. Crooks is trapped in a really difficult situation because a black man at this time will never be able to live his own life and be free. Steinbeck created Crooks to show the plight of black people in 1930's America. I think Steinbeck conveys the character of Crooks very well because it helps the reader to understand the segregation on American ranches at this time. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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