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Crooks in of Mice and Men

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He is shown as the only black man in the ranch who no one cares about. Also because of his race he is prejudiced against for example by Curley’s wife. Steinbeck shows sympathy for crooks by portraying all the negativity in his life, for example the size of his room, and the fact he has ointment for his crooked back. One of the ways that Steinbeck creates sympathy for Crooks is through his description of him. In chapter 4 the reader learns that Crooks is ‘aloof’ but despite this Steinbeck manages to create compassion for him. The reader fully understands the distance that Crooks ‘demands’ from the white men – it is simply the only right he would have as a black man, the right of segregation. The reader also shares his feelings of wanting to be separated from the white men because of the names they address him by, either ‘nigger’ or ‘Crooks’ which is a particularly cruel name to give him considering the pain his crooked spine gives him ‘…his crooked spine and his eyes lay deep in his head, and because of their depth, seemed to glitter with intensity.’

The idea of depth is actually repeated three times in this one paragraph and it creates an image of pain that has aggressively impacted upon the way Crooks looks; it has scarred his face. Furthermore, the word ‘intensity’ implies that Crooks is constantly in pain. Crooks is always disowned by the other characters and is always alone in his little shed with horse manure on the outside.

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