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

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  • Essay length: 807 words
  • Submitted: 06/04/2011
  • Reviewed by: (?) sydneyhopcroft
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GCSE John Steinbeck

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The first 200 words of this essay...

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. We can understand from these that all other ranch workers had left for town, but Crooks is segregated and could not go with them. He can only stay in his bunk, which tells us that he is not accepted in the society. The imagery "a small electric globe threw

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Review of essay

Reviewed by: sydneyhopcroft

Rating: 5 star(s)

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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