English 11 A
13 January 2013
Crooks (named for his crooked back) is the stable hand who works on the ranch. He was born free on land owned by his father. When Crooks was young, he played with white kids and lived in freedom from racists. He lives now by himself in a barn on the ranch because he is the only black man on the ranch. Crooks is bookish and likes to keep his room neat, but he has been beaten down by loneliness and prejudicial treatment and now he is defensive to everything. Crooks is afraid to take kindness from anyone because he is shunned for being black and crippled. Lennie’s brief conversation with Crooks shows how although he is crippled he is also smart and reveals different characters view on blacks. Though Crooks was born in California (not like most blacks in California that had migrated there, he implies), he is made to feel like an outsider because he is black, even in his home state. Crooks is painfully aware that his skin color is all that keeps him separate from everyone else on the ranch. This status of being an outsider who does not being causes him to grief in his loneliness, but he seems to enjoy and even provoke the loneliness of others, perhaps because misery loves company. He was forced to sleep in a separate bunk than the others. As he is trapped alone every night with no one to talk he soon resorts to books as his only friend. Trying to put himself out there as proud and strong, but inside is happy to be around the other men. Crooks first tried to make Lennie leave his room but then he decided that Lennie would not understand and that he actually wanted someone to talk with. During his conversation with Lennie Crooks explains his loneliness on the ranch. “I seen it over an’ over a guy talkin’ to another guy and it don’t make no difference if he don’t hear or understand.” Although he is talking to Lennie about George, he is actually speaking of his own life. Crooks knows that Lennie is slow and...