Within the time period of the 1930's, many non-white people kept themselves isolated from others and stayed out of trouble, to avoid the risk of being lynched. Segregation, isolation and racism was a normal lifestyle led by those who were black; one of the characters that embodies this theme in the novel is the character of Crooks. Other themes of the novel are the American Dream; which is never achieved by any of the characters, this suggests that Steinbeck believed that the dream was unbelievable. This is the same belief which Crooks has. Friendship is another important theme, as the reader sees the desperation Crooks has for friendship and the affect of loneliness has had on him. Steinbeck set the novel in Soledad, California, 1930's during the Great Depression. This is an ironic setting because the term 'Soledad' means isolation and loneliness in Spanish, reflecting the life led by Crooks. Also the reader follows the protagonists Lennie and George as they struggle financially. In addition unemployment rates were high and pension rates decreased; making life hard especially for the middle class. Many men left their families and travelled across the country to find work and support their families. But life was harder for black men as they were seen as savage animals and were not wanted; reflecting the hardship of coloured men in the 1930's. The title 'Of Mice and Men' was taken from a famous poem written by Robert Burns. The meaning behind the title is that 'the best laid plans often go awry'; this is a pessimistic phrase that associates with Crooks. This analysis of Crooks will show how Steinbeck presents Crooks as a lonesome and a lack of social interaction with the other white characters in the novel.
The name 'Crooks' arose from the character having a crooked back; however he is often referred to as 'nigger'. This reflects the casual racism which was present in America during 1930's. The first reference the reader gets of Crooks is in chapter 2 during a...
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