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What do the first four paragraphs of Chapter 4 in Of Mice and Men tell us about Crooks?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

What do the first four paragraphs tell us about the character of Crooks? In the first four paragraphs of chapter four, we already know how lonely and broken, physically and mentally Crooks is. Yet, he is clever and proud. Crooks is a very lonely man, which we can see from the fact that his bunk is separated from the other workers', as shown in "Crooks, the negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room." He is isolated from the other workers because he is a black, and the only black, therefore is not considered important enough to have a living space separated from the working space, and this isolation takes away his chances of communicating to the other workers, which results in his loneliness. In the fourth paragraph, we know that it is Saturday night and sound of moving horses and feet stirring can be heard.

Middle

Yet, he is very intelligent. Not only can he read, but he knows a lot of words. This can be shown in owning "a tattered dictionary". The dictionary has obviously been used for many times, and so he must be more educated and clever than most of the workers. But on the other hand, the fact that he reads the dictionary for entertainment also emphasizes how lonely he is. He also has a pair of large, gold-rimmed spectacles and several books, which are often symbols of intelligence. However, for Crooks, being intelligent can bring him even more pain emotionally. He knows he is the cleverest man in the ranch, yet he is being treated the worst, not only is he not accepted into the society, he is also treated as a sub-human, as shown in "Crooks' bunk was a long box filled with straws".

Conclusion

distance to protect himself, so he rejects other people as they have rejected him, as we can see in "He kept his distance and demanded that other people kept theirs." He has been treated badly for so long that he doesn't believe that he may receive any kindness. In conclusion, the first four paragraphs give us a clear understanding of the character of Crooks. Not only do we know that he is intelligent, lonely and cynical because he is suffering from both physical and emotional pains, we also subtly know that he has quite a good character, which we can see from the fact that he possesses a "big alarm clock", telling us that he is punctual, hard working and responsible. His good character can also be seen in the trust other workers have in him, that in such a racist society, they still let him keep a shotgun. His reserved character made them believe that he is harmless. Word Count: 790

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Response to the question

This is an analytical task into how Steinbeck, over the course of four paragraphs, describes the black ranch-hand Crooks in 'Of Mice And Men'. The candidate's Response to the Question is consistently focused on the steer of the question, drawing ...

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Response to the question

This is an analytical task into how Steinbeck, over the course of four paragraphs, describes the black ranch-hand Crooks in 'Of Mice And Men'. The candidate's Response to the Question is consistently focused on the steer of the question, drawing appropriate quotes from the text, and an insightful analysis of how Crooks' possessions reflect his personality and social standing. A sound essay that is exemplar for anyone attempting to write a top mark analytical essay on Steinbeck's construction of character.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is exceptionally-well detailed. There is a sensitive handling of the language Steinbeck has used in order to characterise Crooks physically and mentally. Concentration on specific words and small phrases like "yellow, meagre light" and "split collar" is useful because not only does it save time instead of trawling out a number of lines from the novel, it also shows that the candidate has the ability to analyse the effect of even the simplest phrase or word and why the author chose that instead of something else. This kind of analytical detail is greatly encouraged from all able GCSE candidates as it wins many marks.
The PEE (Point, Evidence and Explanation) structure here is somewhat fogged, but in doing so it falls on the right side of the fence, the other being essays that do not use PEE and then suffer. This essay elaborates further than just the regimented PEE structure and makes further comments about how Crooks descriptions make him feel and how his surrounding back up his characteristics ("light inside the barn and lively noise in the dark outside create a sense of abandonment"). Also, the way the candidate neatly ties up the ends of their paragraphs with an extra bit of potency to their explanation ("They all symbolize Crooks. He is a broken piece of the society that no one cares for, especially in a society which values people by their abilities to provide services") shows an appreciation of social and historical context and further understanding of the methods Steinbeck uses to portray Crooks' character.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication suggests someone who is very adept with language. A wide range of punctuation has been used, and also a vast selection of adjective used appropriately with correct grammar and spelling.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 21/02/2012

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