Key things that Crooks says
Crooks does not say much in the book ‘of mice and men’. When he does he is very insulting in his language. For example when Lennie comes into his room all of crooks emotions come out at once because he feels he has power and authority over Lennie that he had never had before. You got no right to come in my room. “This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.” Crooks snaps at Lennie because he knows Lennie does not stick up for himself without George. Crooks feels he has more power on the ranch than Lennie and therefore can tell him what to do. Crooks is also rude to Curley’s wife when asking her to leave his room soon after being rude to Lennie because he thinks he has power that he actually doesn’t and this backfires on him. “You ain’t wanted here. We told you you ain’t. An’ I tell ya, you got floozy idears about what us guys amount to. You ain’t got sense enough in that chicken head to even see that we ain’t stiffs.” This quote shows how angry crooks gets and is acting way above his status insulting his bosses sons wife.
The significance of his name
The fact that Crooks has a nickname shows that he has established some form of relationship with the other workers on the ranch. Some workers have respect for Crooks like George, Lennie and especially Slim, ‘Oh! Hello Crooks. What’s the matter?’. Slim calls Crooks by his nickname which shows his respect and the others follow Slim because his word is like gods. However, the others refer to him as ‘nigger’ or ‘stable-buck’. The nickname ‘Crooks’ is not a very nice nickname but it makes sense as it comes from the fact he has a crooked back.
Crooks was involved in the dream with Lennie and George. This came about when Lennie went into his room and they were discussing the dream. Crooks later pulls out of the dream when he realises the realities of his life that he is black and would not be able to achieve this. He pulls out because he had been shown up by Curley’s wife and this showed he had no authority.
Key events that Crooks is involved in
Crooks does not have much to do in the book but his character is very important. The key event in the past was that he was kicked in the back by a horse that crippled him. Now he is just racially abused all of the time and he is excluded from almost everything.
Appearance of Crooks
At first we do not get an in-depth description of Crooks. The only way we get an impression of what crooks is like is when we look at the description given of his room. “Pegs hung from a broken harness” and “strips of new leather” this gives us the thought that Crooks is constantly working and that his only friends are the horses he looks after. “And scattered on the floor were a number of personal possessions.” This shows us he is a very possessive character. “Crooks was a proud, aloof man.” This shows us how even though there is a huge racial barrier for Crooks he is still proud about himself which is the only way he can keep going. “He kept his distance and demanded others kept there’s.” This gives us the thought he has quite a stoned looking face and wants to keep it down. One important fact about Crook’s appearance is the fact that he is black. This causes all the attitudes from the other workers and puts him in a position were others are better than him. His body has an unnatural bend to it because of the fact he was kicked when usual. He has a crooked back. He has a very serous type look as his eyes sit in the back of his head; he also has a leaned face with deep black wrinkles with thin, pain tightened lips.
Why Crooks is in the book
Crooks has been put in the book because he shows us the racial separation in the 1930’s. He is a fellow outcast to Curley’s wife, Lennie and Candy. His presence shows us that black people around this era are not respected and thought to be less important then the whites. The other workers are very racist and this is shown throughout the book.
How Steinbeck portrays him
Steinbeck portrays Crooks as a normal black person around these times. He does not portray him so we feel sorry for him but because of the change in time the book as been read (70 years later) we feel sorry for the racism shown to Crooks. At the time words such as “nigger” where used commonly to describe black people and were not thought as offensive. However know we feel very strong about this type of discrimination and feel sorry for the outcast Crooks. He portrays him to be very possessive man as he keeps everything in his room. This also gives an impression to make him lonely. How Steinbeck INTENDS to portray him is completely dependant on what time generation you read it in.