Throughout John Steinbeck’s novella, ‘of mice and men’ we see characters that could be referred to as, ‘strong ones’ but then there are the less fortunate people and these, are the weak ones.
First of all we have ‘Crooks’ who is commonly referred to as “the negro stable buck” this is a use of derogatory language and also racist and prejudiced language towards Crooks a method used by Steinbeck to create the effect on the reader that Crooks really has no respect from the other ranch hands, he is being abused for no other reason than the fact he is black, in 1930’s America, black men were considered to be not as important as white people and this made him weak; as well as this, he is a cripple, his body is bent to the left because of his crooked spine from when he was kicked by a horse, cripples aren’t as physically strong as a fully capable person and this makes him weak.
He is called the stable buck because the only part of the ranch he owns is in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn. His bunk was nothing but a long box filled with straw on which his blankets were flung; The men treated him as if he was an animal, not even “worthy” to live in the same conditions as the other ranch hands.
In with Crooks possession’s he owns a pair of rubber boots; this shows that he does work and that he is just as important as any other worker we see on the ranch, he also says that he can “work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to”. He also owns a mauled copy of the California civil rights code and a tattered dictionary. This shows that he is constantly flicking through the dictionary and that he is quite a well educated man and he knows his rights are as an African-American male.
In section four Lennie makes his way into Crooks’s room and Crook’s tells him he has no right to be in his room but Lennie doesn’t understand because he has the mind of a child as Slim says “he’s jus’ like a kid”, because Lennie has the mind of a child he is weaker in a mental way than the other ranch workers and this makes him a weak one. Without George, Lennie becomes disorientated and finds himself not knowing what to do. Without George, Lennie is weak.
Candy in this novella is known as “the swamper” because of his old age and because he is old he is weaker than the other men on the ranch. Candy is also disabled because he lost one of his hands in a farming accident and this relieves him of any authority he seems to possess making him weak. Although Candy isn’t intimidating he is a moral character…