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What does the novel "Of mice and men" reveal about the situationof black people during the depression of the 1930's in the USA.

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Introduction

This essay is about the novel Of Mice And Men and how it shows the relationship between white men and black men in the USA during the 1930's. The novel is set California and shows the life of itinerant workers and also give a great imagine of how Black men were treated. The novel "Of mice and men" by John Steinbeck creates a great picture of what black people were thought of, treated like and the general standard of how they lived back in USA, during the 1930's. The first time we see any of this, is at the start of the second chapter when the one and only black character in Steinbecks book is revealed. The one and only black character in this novel is named Crooks, and throughout the whole of the novel we are never sure if this his real name or a nickname; but we guess that it is a nickname as he also has a crooked back which causes him to be constantly lent over. "Got a crooked back where a horse kick him." Crooks's bad back could be just a coincidence and the only black man in the novel may have a crooked back for no apparent reason, but it also may be for a particular reason? ...read more.

Middle

"You ain't wanted in my room." And again when Crooks says "Well, go see your pup, then. Don't come into a place where you ain't wanted." These quotes clearly show that Crooks doesn't want Lennie in the room, but this is only because of what has happened to him in the past and because of that he feels he cannot trust white men. I think this is wrong as it is noticeable that crooks wants to speak to Lennie but is to scared to, due to what the other white men have done to him in the past. This shouldn't be happening and if crooks wants to speak to Lennie he should be able to do it with out feeling scared. The novel also tells us that he is always left out and alone, and this is holey because of the white men disliking him. A quote that shows us how he is isolated, left out and disrespected Crooks is by the group is, when he is speaking to Lennie in his room and he says, "I ain't wanted in the bunk house," another quote which also sows this point is again when he is speaking to Lennie and he says, "Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't because I'm black. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the novel we also find out that crooks had once played with other kids who were white, we find this out when Crooks is speaking to Lennie in his room. "The white kid come to play at our place, an' sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ol' man didn't like that. I never knew why till long later why he didn't like that. But I know now." This quote shows that kids either had very different views on other black people than adults or had no views at all. The quote also illustrates that the other kids treated him no different than they would another white kid and explains to us how his Dad didn't like him playing with the white kids, this was probably since he knew the pain and hurt than black men went through because of white men and knew that it would happen to his son when the white kids get older and learn to hate black people. The way that the kids show no shame when playing with each other shows that white and black men can mix and in a way the kids show up the adults by acting more 'mature'. From the novel I can see clearly that racism is taught by society and realise that the white men don't hate black men because of personal grievances but because they have been taught to hate them. MARK ANDREWS ...read more.

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