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The Character Crook From Steinbeck's Novel

1112 words - 4 pages

The extract I have chosen is from the beginning of chapter four and
stretches from page 71 to page 73. This extract gives a detailed
description of Crooks, his room and his possessions.

The extract I have chosen is from the beginning of chapter four and
stretches from page 71 to page 73. This extract gives a detailed
description of Crooks, his room and his possessions. The entrance of
Lennie into Crooks´ room and the development of their relationship
throughout the scene is shown. At the beginning of the extract Lennie
is not welcomed into Crooks´ room, but at the end they begin to
befriend each other.

I chose this extract because it provides us with excellent examples of
descriptions, dialogue, themes, relationships and vocabulary and
language in relation to the social status of certain characters. There
is an authorial judgement of Crooks and the introduction of Crooks
into the novel. Also, Steinbeck´s style is demonstrated very well.
The descriptions in the extract reflect the style of Steinbeck as he
lists Crooks´ possessions in a simple way inorder for the reader to
understand the bareness of Crooks´ life. This includes 'a mauled copy
of the California civil code for 1905.´ This along with his
'gold-rimmed spectacles´ gives the impression that Crooks is educated
and conscious of his rights. The civil code further emphasises the
theme of prejudice and racism; also it is proof that he is not a
"Southern negro".

On page 71, Steinbeck makes an authorial judgement of Crooks, he says,
'Crooks was a proud, aloof man. Steinbeck does this to summarise
Crooks as a character in a short space of time instead of describing
Crooks subtleley throughout the novel. This is because 'Of Mice and
Men´ is a short novel and has an element of time and this is why
Steinbeck makes these authorial judgements.

Steinbeck draws the character of Crooks with considerable pity and
sympathy. This is illustrated by the extensive detailing of Crooks´
'crooked spine, his 'deep black wrinkles and 'pain-tightened lips.
The reader sympathises with Crooks because he is physically inept and
suffers silently. Due to years of loneliness, Crooks is a private man
and so was very annoyed when Lennie interrupted him whilst applying
liniment to his back; this was a private act of a private man.
"If you guys would want a hand to work for nothing-just his keep, why
I´d come an´ lend a hand. I ain´t so crippled I can´t work like a
son-of-a-bitch if I want to," is an example of Crooks´ loneliness as
he proposes to work for George and Lennie if they buy a ranch of their
own. He tries to reassure Lennie that he can still work hard despite
his disability. He wants to join George and Lennie´s dream to
counteract his loneliness. This is emphasised by the fact that he is
willing to work for just a bed and some food and go without wages.
"They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me," is a
possible reference to Carlson´s...

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