"Of Mice and Men" Analysis of Crooks

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“Of Mice and Men” Essay

In his novel “Of Mice and Men” Stienbeck tries to prove that the achievement of the American dream is impossible and that if someone is born a certain status they will stay that status for the rest of their life, especially is they are mentally retarded, deformed or of a different ethnicity. Steinbeck viewed many failed American dreams all around him during the years of the Dust Bowl. He witnessed the poverty and saw people who had dreams that were never accomplished. This was his inspiration to write “Of Mice and Men.” It is safe to say that the book is based on the theme of the empty promise of the American dream. Steinbeck shows the theme in his book by introducing a series of characters that each have a failed American dream. Although he is not the most important character in the plot, even Crooks, the stable buck, embodies this theme. Crooks is African-American and disabled. Because Crooks is African-American, he will never be treated fairly and will never raise up in society. He has the same job for 20 years working in a stable. Because Crooks is disabled, he could never find a better job and get a better pay. Crooks has also been at the ranch for a very long time and has seen all of the drifters who had an American dream and that they never accomplished. He is a witness to the failure of the American Dream as well as its victim. Stienbeck chose Crooks as the character to embody his views on race. He is the only character who is African-American in the book. Because he is African-American, the American dream does not even apply to him. On page 81 in “Of Mice and Men” Curley’s wife says to Crooks, “Well you keep your place then nigger. I could get you strung up in a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.” This shows that even such a low ranking person as Curley’s wife, who is regarded as a “tart” by the other characters, could get Crooks lynched for barely any reason and nobody would really care. Keeping your place means not moving...
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