Crooks is a black stable-hand who lives by himself in a small room off the barn. He is kept separate from the other workers because of the colour of his skin, and he suffers from loneliness as a result.
In chapter four, we see Crooks at his most vulnerable. He has been hurt by the other workers before and is very suspicious of them. However, when Lennie comes into his room, Crooks is initially quite friendly towards him.
We see that Crooks is a proud man, who takes great pride in his work and his possessions. He has a bookcase in his room which contains books about politics and history, showing that he is an intelligent man. His speech is also well-educated, which is in contrast to the way the other workers speak.
Crooks is also a very lonely man, and we see this when he allows Lennie to stay in his room and talk to him. He seems to enjoy the company, and even offers Lennie some of his possessions. This shows that Crooks longs for companionship, despite the way he tries to keep people out.
Crook is depicted throughout Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men” as lonely, intelligent, and hopeless. He is a member of a minority group who is persecuted because he personifies the black community in 1930s America. Indeed, Crook’s attempts to extract as much power as possible from his environment are due to this prejudice.
For example, he will not allow Lennie into his room without being invited, as this is the one place where he can feel some sense of control.
Crooks is an outsider because of the colour of his skin and this is evident from the way in which others speak to him and about him. For instance, when Curley’s wife enters the barn and starts talking to Crooks, she immediately asks him whether or not he “wants a fight”.
This suggests that she sees Crooks as nothing more than a physical threat, rather than a human being with feelings and emotions. Furthermore, when Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife, it is Crooks ooks who is blamed for her death, simply because he is the only black person on the ranch.
Despite the fact that Crooks is an outsider, Steinbeck still presents him as being an intelligent and articulate character. This is evident from the way in which Crooks speaks about his dream of owning his own piece of land. He talks about how he would have “a little house an’ a couple o’ acres an’ a cow an’ maybe a pig or two”. This shows that Crooks is capable of dreaming and imagining a better life for himself, despite the fact that he knows that it is nothing more than a pipe dream.
In conclusion, Steinbeck uses the character of Crooks to explore the themes of loneliness, discrimination and powerlessness. Through Crooks, Steinbeck highlights the harsh reality of life for black people in 1930’s America.
“I have a right to possess a light,” says Crooks. This implies that Crooks is defensive and perhaps isn’t permitted the things he want or need, or the things he sees others having. He also has a “shotgun” and a “Californian civil code.” These possessions suggest that Crooks is physically frail and requires protection and the law in order to feel powerful against others.
He is also quite secluded from the other workers as he lives by himself in the barn. This could be because he is black and the others are white and during this time period there was a lot of racial discrimination. Another reason for Crooks’ isolation may be that he has a disability; his back is crooked which gives him his name. This physical difference probably leads to him being an outcast as people wouldn’t want to associate with someone who looks different to them.
Crooks is shown to be quite a bitter character, especially towards white people. He says “a guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, longs he ain’t got nobody.” This suggests that Crooks has been alone for a long time and has become resentful because of it.
He is also quite rude to Lennie, despite the fact that Lennie is one of the only people who talks to him. He says “ I ain’t wanted in the bunk house, and you ain’t wanted in my room. Now get out!” This shows us that Crooks doesn’t want anything to do with Lennie or anyone else, he just wants to be left alone.
Even though Crooks is quite an isolated character, he still dreams like everyone else. He tells Lennie about his dream of owning his own piece of land and being able to “have a chicken coop, and a cow, and rabbits, gosh, I’d have hogs. An’ I’d have maybe two acres fenced in so the hogs couldn’t get out.
An’ alfalfa to cut for ‘em. Alfalfa remember that! They eat it, an’ they get fat. An’ then when they got real fat I could take ‘em into town an’ sell ‘em off…Gosh, I could almost see it now. Right here on this piece a land I own myself. Crooks”
This dream shows us that even though Crooks is an outcast, he still has hope and ambition like everyone else. He longs for companionship and a place to call his own, which is something we can all relate to.
“Don’t walk into a place you aren’t wanted.” During that era, racism was prevalent, and Crook had to survive on his own; he didn’t have control over many things, so for him to be able to have his own room, he would gain control over others.
Crooks’ desire to exercise power over Lennie may be a result of discrimination he has suffered from in his life.
Crooks is an interesting character as he is not given a name until we are nearly halfway through the novella. This may be because he is not considered to be a fully-fledged human being, but more of an animal, which is how many black people were treated at the time. He is introduced to us as “the negro stable buck”.
When Candy comes into Crooks’ room, Crooks initially tries to get rid of him and tells him that he shouldn’t be in there. However, when Candy starts talking about the farm that he and George and Lennie are going to have, Crooks becomes interested. He had obviously been lonely and craved companionship, which is why he eventually relents and lets Candy stay.
When Lennie comes into the room, Crooks is initially quite hostile towards him and tells him to get out. However, he soon realises that Lennie is not a threat and starts talking to him about the farm. He even allows Lennie to stroke his pet mouse.
Crooks is obviously a very lonely character who has been isolated because of the colour of his skin. He is also quite a proud man who doesn’t want to show any weakness in front of the other men. This is why he gets angry with Lennie when he starts crying.
Crooks’ speech patterns are also interesting as he often uses African-American vernacular English, which was relatively rare in literature at the time. This again highlights his difference from the other characters and how he is considered to be less than them because of the colour of his skin.
In conclusion, John Steinbeck presents the character of Crooks as a bitter, isolated man who has been discriminated against because of the colour of his skin and his physical disability. Despite this, he still dreams of a better life and is able to see the good in people.