Crooks in of Mice and Men

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“Read and annotate the passage and write about how Steinbeck uses details to present Crooks in this extract. Explain the importance of what the reader learns here in terms of the novel as a whole”

In the first four paragraphs of Chapter four, the reader is already aware of how lonely and broken, both physically and mentally, Crooks is. However, he is clever and proud. Crooks, “the negro stable buck” is restricted from communicating with the other workers as he had “his bunk in the harness room" which means that he is isolated from the other workers. The fact that he is the only black worker on the ranch shows him to be of some insignificance, meaning that he is not important enough to have a living space separated from the working environment. The way he is so ostracised results in his lonesomeness; he resents this.

The beginning of the second paragraph of Chapter four informs the reader of Crook’s possessions and their significance to his individual qualities. It becomes clear that he owns “a big alarm clock, and a single-barrelled shot-gun”, the fact that he owns an alarm clock could suggest that he likes to be on time and is always cautious and aware of his surroundings. The single-barrelled shot-gun implies that he feels the need to protect himself and that he lives in constant danger.

There are many aspects of Crooks personality that shine through within the chapter. He owns “a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905” which insinuates that he is interested in his rights however, they are outdated and not of great use; much the same as his “battered magazines”. In addition to this it is evident from the fact that he “kept his distance and demanded that other people kept theirs” that he prefers to keep himself to himself; this could be because he knows that when in other people’s company it may bring racism and prejudice. It could also imply that he is scared to trust people. The verb ‘demanded’ is harsh and shows that he is very keen to let...
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