English II Honors
12 December 2014
The Life as the “Stable Buck” “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. I tell ya” (Steinbeck 71). With these words, Crooks declares to Lennie what not having a person as company can do to a person. In John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men, Lennie, Candy, Curley’s Wife and Crooks are all marginalized since these characters are the loneliest because of the way they are and how the other characters treat them. Crooks, the “stable buck” is the most marginalized character because his identity as a black man dehumanizes him to the point that he is treated like an animal. Racial segregation plays a big role in the fact that crooks is treated like an animal by other characters. Steinbeck tells us that Crooks “had his little bunk in the harness room” (66), showing the way that Crooks lives and making us see that the fact that Crooks lives in the harness room in the stable has a big influence in other characters calling him “stable buck” since he sleeps with all the other animals in the farm making people see him as an animal rather than a person. He also shows how he is segregated by the other characters since he has his own room away from the others in conditions that are not the best. Crooks also likes to “[keep] his distance and [demand] other people to keep theirs” (67). This quote implies that he doesn’t want to be with people that are going to treat him and use him like an animal and he likes to stay away from those people to avoid going through that pain and embarrassment. When Curley’s wife says that she can get him “strung upon a tree so easy” (81), it is shown how Crooks has no rights compared to the other characters because even though that Curley’s wife is a lady, she shows that she is superior to him and she treats him like an animal rather than treating him as a person. Since Crooks has a bad physical appearance, other characters treat him badly since he is different from the rest and using him as an animal. His nickname is Crooks because he has a “crooked back where a horse kicked him” (20). This physical description of Crooks and shows exactly what happened to him before people started to call him Crooks. Before Lennie comes in his room later in the story, Crooks “held a bottle of liniment” (67), so that he can take care of his back and with the other hand “he rubbed his spine” These quotes are explaining to us that even though Crooks is not in the best conditions possible, he still takes care of his back since the other characters don’t care that he has a crooked back and he is expected to work as hard as an animal or else he will suffer consequences by the others. When the characters are in Crook’s room talking about the plans they had about the little piece of land, Crooks voluntarily says,”…why I’d come an’ lend a hand…” (76), implying that he would do anything to get out of that ranch where he is known as the “stable buck” and he would do anything to get away from being treated like that even though he won’t be the best worker available since he is crippled but he will work for free to stop being known as an animal.
Loneliness is a key point why Crooks is treated like an animal and it is because no one really wants to be…