How does Steinbeck present the character of Crooks in chapter 4? Essay

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Pages: 7

How does Steinbeck present the character of Crooks in Chapter 4?

Chapter 4 of the ‘Of Mice and Men’ novella introduces a character named Crooks. Crooks isn’t shown as a main character of the story, but is given much light in this chapter. Crooks is a black man set on a 1930’s ranch, working as a stable buck. Steinbeck presents the Character of Crooks to us as he wouldn’t of been considered during the times of the ‘Great Depression’ and shows us the negative stereotypes of black people in an American 1930’s society.

Crooks is a minority character introduced in chapter 4. Page 66 reads “negro stable buck.” Crooks’ character is introduced exactly the way he would be seen by other ranch workers. Steinbeck’s intentions of presenting
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For example, page 80 reads “Listen. Nigger (…) You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?”
Curley’s wife brings trouble to his door, thinking she has the moral high ground, power to play god in his life. Steinbeck’s intentions were to show how being a ‘nigger’ is a human being portrayed as simply nothing, having no traits, or feelings. Crooks has no standing and is powerless as a minority. Any defence he may put forward would not even be heard, because of the racial prejudice he faces.

As the story unfolds Crooks becomes very pessimistic in his outlook towards the American dreams of Ranch Workers. Chapter 4, page 73 Crooks states “They come, an‘ they quit an‘ they go on; an‘ every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head.” Crooks’ views are very pessimistic but also realistic, as he has experienced dream after dream after dream that has failed. Steinbeck presents Crooks with cynical views at this point of the chapter, which supports Crooks‘ understanding that loneliness drives you to insanity.

Crooks feels nostalgic about his childhood. Page 70 shows Crooks tell Lennie “The white kids come to play at our place (…) some of them was pretty nice.” This suggests his nostalgic feelings, making him vulnerable at this stage. Willingly disclosing such a personal memory helps with our