Why Is Crooks Unhappy?

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression Pages: 2 (529 words) Published: October 2, 2012
Just as happiness mixes into our lives, unhappiness often jumbles around it. In the period of the Great Depression, many people, being jobless and with a future, are very unhappy. In Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, in which takes place during the Great Depression, Crooks is a very sad and lonely person. Through his conversations with Lennie, Candy, and Curley’s wife, it is obvious that Crooks is sorrowful, which have evolved through isolation. Crooks is so unhappy because of: his unhappy past, unpopularity at the ranch, and his pain for a better life. First off, Crooks doesn’t have a happy background.

After Crooks feels comfortable with Lennie, he begins to describe and reflect his life to Lennie. He explains that “there wasn’t another colored family for miles” (70), and that if he “says something,… it’s just a nigger sayin’ it” (70). Being black, he is often ignored and isolated from others, creating a unhappy past for him. This affects what his current emotions, further hurting him mentally. In all, Crooks past story is neither encouraging nor joyful.

Even more, Crooks is not welcomed by most the other workers. Through the ways others talk about him, it is obvious that being black precludes his ability to develop friendship with others. Crooks “kept his distance… and other people keep theirs” (67). He is not allowed, even in the bunkhouse, saying that he “is not wanted because he is black” (68). Clearly, this is mainly caused by racial segregation, which isolates blacks from others. This is mainly the reason why Crooks is happy when Lennie talks with him. To sum up, the hostile treatment of other workers transforms Crooks to the undesired outlier of the farm.

Finally, as a result of the reasons stated above, Crooks yearns for a better life, but knowing that success in unattainable. Just as George and Lennie, who aren’t in a very good position, have a dream for the future, Crooks also wants a change for the better. When he overhears Lennie and Candy’s...
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