How does Steinbeck present the character of Crooks in chapter 4?

Topics: White people, Race and Ethnicity, Black people Pages: 3 (1633 words) Published: October 12, 2014
How does Steinbeck present the character of Crooks in Chapter 4?

Chapter 4 of the ‘Of Mice and Men’ novella introduces a character named Crooks. Crooks isn’t shown as a main character of the story, but is given much light in this chapter. Crooks is a black man set on a 1930’s ranch, working as a stable buck. Steinbeck presents the Character of Crooks to us as he wouldn’t of been considered during the times of the ‘Great Depression’ and shows us the negative stereotypes of black people in an American 1930’s society.

Crooks is a minority character introduced in chapter 4. Page 66 reads “negro stable buck.” Crooks’ character is introduced exactly the way he would be seen by other ranch workers. Steinbeck’s intentions of presenting Crooks for the first time to us in this way, is to give us the outline of the black workers of 1930’s America. Steinbeck wanted us to instantly recognise the prejudice black people faced before we got to know his character. A white person of the 1930’s would of saw Crooks as a black worker and nothing. Steinbeck chose to introduce Crooks’ character in the way people then would of saw him to the way we continue to see him as we learn the extent of his character.

Steinbeck gives careful detail of Crooks’ room. At the beginning of chapter 4, page 66 reads “a long box filled with straw, on which his blankets were flung.” Crooks’ bunk is described as an untidy and uncomfortable place to rest, much similar to the animal’s with whom he shares the harness room with. The importance of Crooks’ room is to demonstrate the segregation of America in the 1930’s. As Crooks is a black man he isn’t allowed to sleep in the bunk house with the white workers. In addition, nobody considers Crooks’ disablement, when leaving him to live in these inhumane conditions because he was a black man who they saw had no standing.

Crooks’ room suggests the means of his life. The description of his room, on page 66 reads “which hung broken harness in process...
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