Of Mice and Men

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Crooks Character Analysis In John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, the character named Crooks was segregated from the other men because he is black. This caused him to be lonely. He was forced to sleep in a separate bunk than the others. Trapped in solitude all night long; he resorts to books as his only companion. Trying to portray himself as proud and aloof by his own will, but inside is happy to be around the other men. Crooks first tried to make Lennie leave his room but then he decided that Lennie would not understand and that he actually wanted someone to talk with. During his conversation with Lennie Crooks reveals his loneliness on the ranch. "I seen it over an' over a guy talkin' to another guy and it don't make no difference if he don't hear or understand." Although he is talking to Lennie about George, he is actually speaking of his own life.

He needs someone, someone to talk with, a friend. After Lennie explains his dream to Crooks, he says he would work free. Later he decides that he does not want to face rejection. "I don't wanna go to no place like that. I'd never wanna go to a place like that" Crooks is also a proud man, sometimes causing him to forget his lack of authority of the ranch. Crooks grew up on a farm owned by his father where he was respected as an equal to the white men. Now on this ranch on California he is discriminated against and segregated. His pride is shown when he defends Lennie against Curley's wife, but when she lashed out at him, he knows he must back down or face the consequences. Those consequences would probably be being lynched. Inside he knows he is equal to every other man on the ranch, but if he expressed these thoughts he would probably be forced out of the farm, or even worse possibly. Crooks is a bright man. He knows his rights, but he also knows that being a black man in California his rights didn't mean anything if he made a mistake and crossed his boundaries.

A third characteristic of Crooks is intelligence. Crooks, unlike the other men, reads books. He grew up as a free man, an equal to the whites. While he is not a slave on the ranch, he certainly was not treated fairly. His knowledge only adds to his anger and loneliness that he feels because he knows what it could be like, he knows that this is not right. By reading, Crooks occupies his time and gains knowledge, but being with another human being on the ranch would be much more important to him than any book he could ever read. When Lennie comes into his room, Crooks knows exactly what to say to make Lennie upset. However, he was kind and stopped saying that George would not return when he realized Lennie was genuinely upset.