Essay on Of Mice and Men and Crooks

Submitted By darcyjennings
Words: 956
Pages: 4

Throughout ‘Of Mice and Men’ Candy is discriminated for his age, he can no longer perform jobs like the younger workers can and the only thing that staves off his loneliness is the company of his ‘ancient dog’. However, in the third section of the book Carlson complains that the dog ‘ain’t no good to himself’ anymore as he persuades Candy to let him shoot the dog to put it out of it’s own misery. Carlson takes the dog out to shoot it in the back of the head; Candy’s only companion is almost gone. The idea of loneliness in this section is built through silence, Slim tells Candy that he can have ‘any one of them pups you want’ but ‘Candy did not answer’. Silence is also personified as Steinbeck narrates ‘the silence came into the room’ which reflects that through out the book silence is used to show isolation. After the bullet sounds at the end of the scene, Candy continues ‘to stare at the ceiling’ for a moment and then he rolls ‘slowly over and’ faces ‘the wall and’ lays ‘silent.’ Steinbeck makes the reader empathetic towards the old man as he no longer has anyone, and the slow description of his movements lengthens time almost to show that loneliness also slows time. In a way, the useless old dog is a reflection of Candy and his old, handicapped state. Carlson shooting the dog foreshadows Lennie’s death at the end of the novella, the death of Lennie and Candy's dog are similar. Both are tests to spare the one's they love. Candy must spare his dog from the pain of staying alive and George must spare Lennie from the wrath of Curley and his lynch mob. In chapter two Candy says "A guy on a ranch don't never listen nor he don't ast no questions.”, this is possibly the most accurate definition of isolation in ‘Of Mice and Men’ as it supports that Steinbeck presents isolation mostly through silences and friendship through conversation.

CROOKS Crooks is the ‘negro stable buck’ who is prejudiced for being a crippled black man, is embittered by his loneliness and suspicious of any kindness he receives. He’s not allowed to stay with the other ranch workers in the barn, instead his accommodation is described like an animal cage which gives a sense that he’s also treated like an animal: ‘Crooks’ bunk was a long box filled with straw, on which his blankets were flung.’ Steinbeck uses light and dark imagery to symbolise that Crooks has lost hope as only a ‘meager yellow light’ glows in his room. The mixture of racism and loneliness has made Crooks spiteful, he’s cruel and tortures Lennie with ’S’pose George don't come back no more.’ Lennie is thrown by this idea and his response shows that he is afraid of being alone; of being without George. Even though Steinbeck just provides a graphic, eloquent portrayal of the problem, Crooks is depicted in a sympathetic manner, especially as he believes ‘a guy needs somebody’ and in this passage he continuously repeats words that allude to loneliness as well as the word lonely. For example, he explains to Lennie ‘a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.’ Crooks sees loneliness as an illness similar to how Steinbeck saw it in his own life: something we are born with and something we either fight or succumb to all our lives. Crooks was not always alone, he used have a family who he was close to which is similar to Steinbeck after his parents died he became dissatisfied with his life. Lennie unwittingly soothes Crooks into feeling at ease, and Candy even gets the man excited about the dream farm, to the