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How Crooks is Affected by Loneliness

By J'adore-Aimee Oct 12, 2014 844 Words
Show how Crooks is affected by loneliness
Crooks is a character introduced to the reader in ‘Of Mice and Men’ by author John Steinbeck. Crooks is described to be the only black man on the ranch, he is said to have his own bunkroom, on first inspection the reader expects this to be a privilege however upon closer inspection we discover this is a way to isolate and degrade crooks because of his ethnic background. Crooks is affected and shows his loneliness in a number of ways; aggressiveness, sadness, protectiveness and realism. Crooks loneliness is first highlighted to the reader in section 4 of the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ Steinbeck describes Crooks room briefly, simply listing the little belongings Crooks holds, this brief description shows that not only is Crooks lonely and isolated but he has no possessions to console in. When Lennie enters into Crooks doorway, Crooks shows his aggressive side brought on by his continuous isolation “This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.’” Crooks has been isolated and has built up his life on the ranch alone, he has claimed his bunk house as his own, Crooks here is showing that because he has been banished from connecting and interacting in the normal way with the ranch hands he does not want to welcome ranch guests into his space. Upon Lennie’s arrival Crooks attacks him verbally, Crooks intentions can be seen as unpleasant however this is to be misunderstood as his intentions are pure. Upon Lennie’s entry into Crooks’ room he reacts in a protective way not wanting anyone to enter “’You got no right to come in my room.’” Due to Crooks desperate isolation you would expect him naturally welcome guests however Crooks does the opposite, this behaviour may suggest he does not feel he can trust the ranch hands to respect his belongings as he does. Crooks feels the belongings in the room are all he has and as far into the future will be all he has, he does not want them to be disturbed, Crooks protectiveness over his room suggests he finds comfort in the safety of his room and once someone passes the line upon entry of his room his guard is destroyed and he feels he is unable to protect himself. Steinbeck introduces the next result to Crooks loneliness as being grave sadness “I was talkin’ about myself. A guy sets alone out here at night...” Crooks has placed himself in a situation in which he frightens Lennie, in order to console himself in what he feels, Crooks is showing grave sadness in which he releases to Lennie, he expresses his sadness in having no friend to turn to and no one to look for confirmation in. The fact that Crooks chooses Lennie to console in shows that he is willing to talk to anyone that wants to listen; he will find a friend in anyone even if they do not quite understand the situation. Crooks does not want to be isolated, we wants to have opportunities to interact with the ranch hands and make friends however he has been outcast for so long he has grown to be isolated and has had to be brought round to understanding and accepting isolation once more. The last result of Crook’s isolation shown by Steinbeck is realism, In a conversation between Candy, Lennie and Crooks in which Lennie and Candy explain their American dream to Crooks in which both have been carried away with however Crooks takes a much more realistic, blunt approach to the dream “You guys is just kiddin’ yourself... Hell, I seen too many guys’” Through Crook’s loneliness he has lost all hope of finding his own American Dream and making a successful future for himself. In Steinbeck’s introduction into Crooks’ room he describes a collection of books “a tattered dictionary... the California civil code for 1905...” the collection of books suggests despite Crook’s hopeless front he still hopes to make something of his life and make a difference to the world, he aims to educate himself and produce a result in the equality of men in America, however his loneliness has over time appeared to have got the better of him briefly making him lose all hope. Once Crook’s has built up a stronger relationship with Lennie and Candy within a brief interval, he begins to believe in the American Dream, the comfort of Lennie and Candy has briefly subsided his loneliness showing Crooks once more there is hope to be had. In conclusion, Crooks loneliness has made him lose all hope in finding a future he has taught himself to find comfort and protection in himself alone. His loneliness and isolation has resulted in him losing trust, through the brief interval of conversation between himself, Candy and Lennie he has been able to subside all his fears and security in his life and find hope again showing that Crook’s loneliness is mainly self inflicted and made worse in his unwillingness to interact when looked to for conversation.

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