Explore how steinbeck develops our impressions of crooks

The Character of Crooks is shown as a seemingly minor character in John Steinbeck’s “ Of Mice and Men”, however being the only black man in the novel and through all the attitudes shown towards him, he plays a major role in representing how ‘ coloured’ men were abused and discriminated during the Depression-era by racism. Due to the racist behaviour towards him we are shown that he is the lonliest of characters. Also, throughout the novel we are shown different sides of him by the author to develop our impressions. From the first time we are introduced to Crooks through Candy, he tells George ‘ He [the boss] was sure burned when you wasn’t here this morning. Come right in when we was eatin’ breakfast and says, “ where the hell’s them new men? ” An’ he give the stable buck hell, too’ this quote conveys that for being dark skinned, Crooks is physically abused by others as he would have not been able to speak up as he has as much lesser social standing than a woman (in this case curley’s wife). Another thing that Candy says is ‘ Ya see the stable buck’s a nigger,’ we get an insight of how he is degraded verbally by the white men, on the ranch, unintentionally as well as intentionally for being black because after Candy has said that he feels inclined to say ‘ Nice fella, too’ this also highlights that at the time a majority of people had stereotyped black people as being not nice and etc, because of the colour of their skin. From this Steinbeck makes us feel sorry for the black stable buck as he has to put up with all the verbal and physical abuse projected towards him. Another thing that readers would have noticed in the intro is that he is told to be crippled, ‘ Got a crooked back where horse kicked him,’ through the quote it can be deduced where the name the author gave the character originates from. Following that Candy implies that Crooks is an intelligent man because ‘ he reads a lot’ you can tell this because at the time for a person to be literate was indeed a big thing as many people at the time were illiterate. Later on in the book we are given a glance at Crooks personality when in chapter 4 his room his described. There are many thing that can be presumed from the description given. For Instance, ‘ Crooks’ bunk was a ling box filled with straw’ this illustrates the image that crooks is treated no better than an animal because his bed is actually a box with straw filled in it, another quote which implies the same meaning is ‘ range of medicine bottles, both for himself and the horses’. As well as that he has his bunk in the harness room, rather than the bunk room with the other hands, which is a ‘ little shed leaning off the wall of the barn.’ This as well as exhibiting that he is respected as much as an animal, also emphasises his lonliness and isolation. As well as showing the bad points of him living alone we are shown the advantages such as, he was able to leave his things about. While explaining the possessions ‘ he had accumulated’ we are reveled other parts of his personality for instance he is an intelligent man, as we have already been told by Candy because he reads a lot, we are able to prove this because we are told he has ‘ a tattered dictionary,’ ‘ battered magazines and a few dirty books on a special self over his bunk’ however the ‘ dirty books’ could also be suggesting that they are dirty books that he reads because he is unable to go with the other hands to the whorehouse, but they could also just be dusty and old books. He is also shown as someone who knows his place at the ranch becasuse it goes on to say ‘ he kept his distance’ but it also implies that he is a proud and aloof man because he expects that people keep their distance and leave him alone. Another reason how we know he is a proud man is because his room is swept and fairly neat. Throughout the section we are shown how his relationships with the other charcters are. First with Lennie, a person who is unable to see the difference between the colour difference, he is shown to start opening up to Lennie by telling hime about himself and family, then he goes on to tell how ‘ there wasn’t no coloured family for miles around, And now there ain’t a coloured man on this ranch’ this conveys that although he likes to project to others that he doesn’t need anyone he yearns to have companionship. However, he is later shown to torment Lennie when he understands that he is above him, in that he starts to take pleasure in tormenting him, by saying George won’t come back, but when Lennie becomes aggressive he senses ‘ danger as it approached him’ he backs down and becomes defensive and tells more about his lonliness.