'Crooks is the loneliest person on the ranch, explore'

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‘Crooks is the loneliest person on the ranch. Explore’.

Loneliness is one of the primary themes in Of Mice and Men. Throughout the novel, John Steinbeck shows the enormous effect that loneliness has on the characters. Steinbeck most clearly illustrates this theme through Crooks, Candy, Lennie and Curley's wife. Steinbeck also shows how important it is for every person to have a companion. Crooks doesn’t have anyone, that is the reason for his loneliness. In this essay I will be analysing all the other characters in the novel who are in a similar position to Crooks. At the end I will give my own opinion on whether I agree or disagree with the statement; I will also be justifying my answer.

Crooks is a lonely character; he has been working on the ranch for a long time and he is also injured due to a horse kicking him on his back, hence his name ‘Crooks’. Crooks keeps  himself occupied with books. “He reads a lot. Got books in his room”. (Page 41). One book he owns is called ‘California Civil Code’ for 1905. In my opinion I think he had this book as a reminder that he does have rights, even though he is black. However, these rights don’t really ‘exist’ on the ranch for him. Crooks is bitter because of how he's belittled and separated from all the others due to racial differences. For example, Curley’s wife puts him in his place when he stands up to her, “Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it aint even funny”. (Page 113).  This reflects back onto the context of the novel in 1930s America. Black people were treated unfairly and they if they spoke up they would most likely get lynched. In addition black people were not seen as equals, white people were seen as more superior.

Loneliness has turned Crooks sour and he uses his anger as a defense mechanism. As a result of his colour, Crooks must live by himself in a small room in the barn. Crooks becomes so accustomed to this constant isolation, that he is suspicious of any man who suddenly tries to make friends with him. He thinks that most people are out to harm him so it is difficult for him to form any relationships even if they were available to him.

When he first meets Lennie, there is an immediate rejection of friendship mainly due to the ang                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                uish of his loneliness. “You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me’’. (Page 100).  He is upset when Lennie first walks in, but after a while, he warms up to being in the presence of another person that actually wants to see him, not hurt him. “Set down,’ he invited. ‘Set down on the nail keg”. (Page 101). Crooks pretends to value his privacy, but it is clear from his conversation with Lennie that he would prefer to be in the bunkhouse with the rest of the men. He reveals how the lack of companionship can bring about mental distress or even mental instability. “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you”. (Page 105).  

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While talking with Lennie, Crooks brings up the topic of George. “I said s’pose George went into town and you never heard of him no more”. (Page 103).  His loneliness makes him envious of George and Lennie's close relationship. Therefore to wind Lennie up, he tells him that George may not return; he clearly does this to frighten Lennie.  Crooks wants Lennie to sympathise with him, how it feels to not have someone with you; he does this by taunting Lennie. “Crooks’ face lighted with pleasure in his torture”. (Page 103). When he is bullying Lennie we see a darker side to ...

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