Essay about Crooks: Black People and Crooks’s Role

Submitted By graceneedham
Words: 2191
Pages: 9

The first time when the reader reads about Crooks is when candy introduces him in a violent way, which makes the reader feel like Crooks is a mean man,’And he give the stable buck hell too’. The word ‘hell’ is a very violent lexical choice and it brings the reader into the violent environment. It also shows that the boss is unpleasant to crooks due to racial discrimination, ’The boss will give him hell when he is mad’. Also it prepares the reader for the violent scene with Lennie and Crooks in chapter four. A Also it shows that crooks doesn’t have any power (which prepares the reader for when he abuses power due to vulnerable lennie). Also the word ‘lets’ shows that it is a privilege to him to be let it in that day and it also shows that he is marginalised from all the men in the ranch. He gets his name ‘crooks’, from an accident with a horse which made his back crooked. The fact he is known by that name rather than his real name highlights the lack of identity and how he is defined through an act of violence. Also when crooks is named a ‘stable buck’ it relates to a horse. This prepares us for the horse like conditions in chapter 4 ‘bunk was a long box filled with straw’. Also he lives in a stable. I feel Steinbeck has related crooks to a horse because horses are like slave animals, and crooks is like a slave to the boss and the men on the Ranch. He gets his name ‘crooks’, from an accident with a horse which made his back crooked. The fact he is known by that name rather than his real name highlights the lack of identity and how he is defined through an act of violence. Also in the novel he is shown as an intelligent man due to ‘tattered books’ and ‘glasses’ in his room. This symbolises intelligence. Also he has a book on the civil rights, which he knows that he has some rights. Due to that crooks is very pessimistic. ‘You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me’, this shows that he is suspicious - since he has never had any other man in his room with a non-violent presence.’ Another example of crooks being pessimistic is when he doesn’t believe in the dream. ’Every god dam one of them got a little peace of land in his head. An’ never a god dam one of ‘em ever gets it’. This highlights the futility of the dream suggesting that dreams are unattainable in 1930’s America. However Crooks thinks that the American dream is pointless and is never going to happen due to the microcosm (pg 73)’every god dam one of them got a little peace of land in his head. An’ never a god dam one of ‘em ever gets it’. However when he realises that candy has the money, he knows it could actually happen. But the entrance of Curley’s wife makes crooks realise the dream is impossible to achieve. All the characters in the novel are all trapped in the microcosm. Crooks shows being trapped by doing the same routine every day, ‘crooks sat on his bunk’ Chap 4 is started with crooks applying his liniment, and has ended with him doing the same thing. This shows cyclical narrative and that he is trapped in every day life. Also (pg 66),’crooks could leave his things about,’ this shows that he has never travelled and stays in the ranch, Steinbeck shows he is trapped. Throughout the novel he has a lack of power. But at the point when he abuses power to lennie, then Curleys wife enters and that’s when he lacks it. Curleys wife threatens crooks to be canned or killed (pg 80),’ I could get you strung up on a tree..’ then crooks ‘reduced himself to nothing’ that’s when his power has completely gone and he speaks in a toneless voice which shows that curleys wife has the power and he has no power = lack of power. She reminds him who he is and of his low position. But I feel that he also has a lack of power due to him being a man working but also for being black and living in the microcosm America. In the microcosm America, Crooks is represented as ‘Soledad’. ‘There wasn't another coloured family for miles around. And…