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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Crooks Character Analysis Essay

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Who is more powerful in regards to affecting you ‘’the reader’’, Crooks or Curley’s wife? Some say Curley’s wife, others say Crooks. In the book Of Mice and Men Crooks is more powerful. The author Steinbeck created this character to show discrimination, to show who and what this character is and his lifestyle. In Of Mice and Men we are introduced to Crooks in chapter two, and from there he was treated like a slave. No one talked to him and he was lonely because of it. It’s affecting because he’s an African American who plays a big role in discrimination. Crooks is treated differently than other characters and that’s how it’s impactful in powerful ways.

Crooks are treated more unfairly than the other characters in Of Mice and Men. For instance, in chapter two we learn that Crooks is the only ranch hand who is African American and he is victimized because of it. In other words, Crooks is a sharp-witted, lean face with black wrinkles, born in California, very nice, likes to read, and gets his name from his crooked back. The description on page 20 says ‘’Yeah. Nice fella too. Got a crooked back from where a horse kicked him.’’ That is to say, the old man does like Crooks so no not everyone treats him differently, but most do. It seems to me that, Crooks is well known around the ranch. He has his own place, a little shed that leans off the barn with a bed full of straw, an apple box above his bed, and he likes his room to be neat. From his home, we realize Crooks is not like the men who get jobs, then wait for pay, then leave. Crooks stays, he’s pregnant. To sum up, Crooks is a ranch hand who is African American and is known well, but he is still treated differently by others and it’s meaningful in powerful ways.

Now that we know who Crooks is, let’s discuss how he is treated differently. To illustrate this idea the text says on page 68 ‘’because I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink.’’ That is to show how lonely Crooks is and how unfairly they treat him. That is to say, discrimination plays a big role in this book, and we are shown how it affects Crooks’ everyday life. The evidence highlights that Crooks is treated unwell, and they make him sleep in the shed where it could be cold, there are animals out there, and he is all by himself with no one to talk to. Lennie is one of the main characters who come to talk to Crooks as he’s visiting his puppy from the barn. In the paragraph where Lennie goes to see Crooks, he says ‘’you got no right to come in my room. This here is my room. Nobody got any right in here but me.’’ Figuratively speaking, he’s so alone and treated badly that the first sign of kindness he out lashes. In summary, we can see that Crooks is treated so unfairly and discrimination is a part of this.

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Crooks character affected me in many ways, an African American who is pushed around, lonely, lives in a shed, and is not treated like a regular person. The description on page 72 says ‘’A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make any difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an he gets sick.’’ For instance, in that quote from the text, we can tell how lonely he really is. For example, Curley’s wife says ‘’Well you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.’’ From this, we can see that Curley’s wife is not emotionally powerful. She considers herself physically powerful, she doesn’t go through what Crooks go through. In other words, Crooks is more influential and his character is more authoritative in multiple ways. On a figurative level, Curley’s wife could be more powerful, but Crooks deals with so many challenging situations that from the information provided Crooks is most definitely more compelling in the book Of Mice and Men than Curley’s wife. In summary, Crooks’s character is impactful and meaningful in many ways. To show us how discrimination is at stake, we find how hard it is to be a black man in that day and age. That’s how powerful Steinbeck made this character.

In conclusion, Crooks is treated more grievous and individually than other appearances so it’s more meaningful in dynamic ways. Crook was a powerful character that showed effective roles in this book and was treated below par because of his color and stitch. How it was effective is why it’s so relevant to my attention. From this, we can learn how discrimination was a big part of the book Of Mice and Men, and how living it was to know how Crooks was treated. Basically, his character is important because it shows us meaning and how it was like back then. Not just for crooks, for any African American in that time. Sometimes it’s hard thinking about it, or maybe it’s not hard. Thinking of the life Crooks lived, but that’s why it’s so important to get point across to the reader on how Crooks was treated unfairly and differently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Page is Crooks Introduced?

Crooks is introduced in Chapter Four on page 66-67 of John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men.

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Crooks Character Analysis Essay. (2021, August 11). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: Crooks Character Analysis Essay.” Edubirdie, 11 Aug. 2021,
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