In the rest of the novel, how does Steinbeck use Crooks to present attitudes to black people at the time the novel is set?

Topics: Crook Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: March 17, 2014
) Steinbeck presents crooks as a law abiding man. He is described as ‘proud’ and ‘aloof’ and having a copy of the ‘California civil code for 1905’. The adjective ‘aloof’ has connotations of unfriendliness and being protective. This could be because of the lonely lifestyle of the workers but is more likely that it is the effect of the racism towards black people at the time. They were treated as a minority group and preyed upon as unworthy people. Crooks would have had to put up with this for most, if not all, of his life. It is also introduced that he had a ‘crooked spine’. The adjective ‘crooked’ is associated with bent, broken and damaged, and a crooked spine is something which ranch workers would struggle to work with. This further emphasises the determination and pride that Crooks has towards his work and that he feels that he has to work at the ranch as it is the best prospect that he has. Steinbeck is trying to communicate the fact that Crooks, although deformed, is stubborn to prove that he is an independent person. Crooks ‘demanded’ that other people kept their distance. As he didn’t have the right to see them in the bunk house, they would not have the right to visit him in his room. Steinbeck has used the dynamic verb ‘demanded’ to show how adamant he is about the other workers respecting his privacy. The word ‘demanded’ also implies that there may have been argument over his privacy which again reflects the hardship that Black people were going through at the time. Crooks is presented by Steinbeck as a defensive person about his weakness. Lennie catches Crooks when ‘his shirt was out of his jeans’ he is also rubbing ointment on his back which is his major physical fault. Steinbeck describes Crooks as a very meticulous person with a ‘swept’ and ‘neat’ room, this leads us to think that Crooks is not a man to be scruffy with his appearance either. The structure of the simple sentence in the context of the paragraph also suggests that Steinbeck wants to...
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