Crook Analysis The old stable-hand admits to the very loneliness that George describes in the opening pages of the novel. ‘Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’’ Crooks speaks these words to Lennie in Section 4, on the night that Lennie visits Crooks in his room. His resentment typically comes out through his bitter, caustic wit, but in this passage he displays a sad, touching vulnerability too. Steinbeck describes Crooks as ‘a proud, aloof man’, which suggests that he keeps his distance and likes to retain some personal dignity and privacy.
This is conveyed when he proclaims ‘You got no rights comin’ in a coloured man’s room. ’ Lennie’s brief interaction with Crooks reveals the complexity of racial prejudice in the northern California ranch life as well. Though Crooks was born in California (not like many Southern blacks who had migrated, he implies), he is still always made to feel like an outsider, even in his home state. As a black man with a physical handicap, Crooks is forced to live on the periphery of ranch life. ‘A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin’ books or thinkin’ or stuff like that.
Sometimes he gets thinkin’, an’ he got nothing to tell him what’s so an’ what ain’t so. Maybe if he sees somethin’, he don’t know whether it’s right or not. He can’t turn to some other guy and ast him if he sees it too. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by. I seen things out here. I wasn’t drunk. I don’t know if I was asleep. If some guy was with me, he could tell me I was asleep, an’ then it would be all right. But I jus’ don’t know. ’ This passage conveys Crooks’ s desire for a friend or company by whom to “measure” things echoes George’s earlier description of the life of a migrant worker.
In John Steinbeck's novel, Of Mice and Men, he uses Crooks to express loneliness because his character is a perfect example of how it was to be a black man. Steinbeck uses Crooks to show his readers what it was like to be lonely. Crooks is the loneliest in the novel because he has no one to talk and he is black. Crooks was introduced to the novel as just a black stable buck. Before his character ...
Because these men feel such loneliness, it is not surprising that the promise of a farm of their own and a life filled with strong, brotherly bonds holds such allure. Crooks tries to deflate Lennie’s hopes. He does when he says, ‘ I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads . . . every damn one of ’em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of ’em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’.
I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. ’ Overall, Steinbeck portrays Crook as character who injects the scene with a sense of reality, reminding the reader, if not the childlike Lennie, that the dream of a farm is, after all, only a dream. This moment establishes Crook’s character, showing how a lifetime of loneliness and oppression can manifest as cruelty. It also furthers Steinbeck’s disturbing observation that those who have strength and power in the world are not the only ones responsible for oppression.
As Crooks shows, even those who are oppressed seek out and attack those who are even weaker than they are. It’s important to remember that the main theme of this novel is isolation/loneliness. Crooks is conveyed as lonely because he is the only black man on a white man’s ranch and is isolated because of it. He isn’t a bad man at all and Steinbeck shows that. He softens considerably in Lennie and Candy’s company and really believes, for a short time, that he can be part of the ‘dream’. (Until Curley’s wife comes in and reminds him of his place in that society).
The way he changes during this section is key to understanding him and feeling sympathy for him. At the end of the section, he is resigned to fact that he has no power to change his rather miserable life. So, overall, we as readers approach Crooks as a very likeable character. He is lonely and vulnerable and it’s impossible not to feel sorry for him. But you also must remember the historical context of the novel. Life for black people was much tougher than it is today and as a result their attitudes were completely different.
A Review Of Ralph Elison's Invisible ManA Review Of Ralph Elison's Invisible Man Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma. From 1933 to 1936 he was educated as a musician at Tuskegee Institute. During that time he traveled to New York and visited Richard Wright, which led him to the first attempts to write fiction. Since that time he became a well-known critic; his articles, reviews and short stories ...