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Of Mice and Men: A Character Analysis of Crooks.

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Introduction

16 January 2004 Daniel Roll� Prep Of Mice and Men: A Character Analysis of Crooks It is noticeable throughout 'Of Mice and Men' that Crooks is portrayed by Steinbeck to be an outcast. It is clear that there is a large divide between Crooks and the other men on the ranch. Crooks is the only black man on the ranch, and it is for this reason alone that he is excluded from normal life on the ranch. Crooks does not sleep with the other men in the bunk houses, but instead has his own place to sleep in the barn. He is not allowed to socialise with the other men and instead lives a life of solitude in his room. Crooks has a bad back, which makes it hard for him to buck barley and work in the field like the other ranchers. Instead, he does odd jobs on the ranch. ...read more.

Middle

I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse and you ain't wanted in my room." Crooks' mistreatment makes him seem bitter and gruff towards white people and seems not to want any interaction with other people who are not the same as him. It is for this reason that he is cruel towards Lennie and taunts him. It is not because he dislikes Lennie or is naturally a nasty man, but is because he wants Lennie to realise what it is like to be him and how he resents being judged inferior because of the colour of his skin. Crooks lives a lonely life, and he does not enjoy this: "Sure, you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain't no good. A guy needs someone - to be near him. A guys goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems as if Crooks has no hope and lives a life of stark realism. However, he does reminisce on his childhood years, where he had "a strawberry patch", "an alfalfa patch" and "Used to turn the chickens out on the alfalfa on a sunny morning." This reinforces the idea that everyone has a dream, and Crooks' 'American Dream' is to experience the joys of his childhood again, where he was not seen as different and lived a happy normal life. Crooks is not naturally a cruel or cynical person, but his treatment at the ranch has shed light on the darker side of his personality. Crooks only wishes to be treated equally and fairly, so that he can live a normal life again. Perhaps the ranch embodies the Southern American Society in that it is a 'microcosm', where the relationships between white and black people represent the tides of feelings and conflicts of the whole society. I think that this is the point that Steinbeck was trying to make through Crooks, and the relationships that he has with others reflect the divided American Society in the 1930s. ...read more.

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