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Of Mice and Men

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Introduction: Write it yourself.

In extract 4, Steinbeck presents Crooks as a skilled and intelligent man; he uses symbolism to achieve this for example the books and “tattered dictionary” represent Crooks’ academic ability as Crooks can read and most probably be able to write. Also, the tools of his trade symbolize his special ability and we see him as a talented man.  By using symbolism, we learn that Crook is an intelligent and talented man as using words such as ‘tattered dictionary’ adds depth and meaning to this fiction and allows Steinbeck to add multiple layers to the character of Crook, thereby engaging the reader.

Moreover, Steinbeck uses language to describe Crooks racial backgrounds. In the passage we also learn crook is a man who is fiercely protective over his rights. The first indication of tis can be seen when Steinbeck talks about Crook’s basic possessions, where we learn he only possesses the necessities: several pairs of shoe, a pair of rubber boots, a big alarm clock and a single-barreled shotgun which suggests he may need protection.  Steinbeck uses the adjective, for example, “mauled” to describe his “copy of the California civil code for 1905”, this emphasizes how passionately and regularly he consults it. Also the adjective ‘mauled’ suggests an animal and its prey, this violent imagery may be used to show the emotions Crooks feels, perhaps at times turning to the book in anger. We assume that the book talks about the rights black people are entitled because during that period of time the blacks and whites were to be separated; this makes us feel sympathy for him, as knowing the context of the book and how few rights a black person would have had makes this feel like a pointless and desperate practice. Consequently, using adjectives makes us we feel apologetic for Crooks’ lack of rights, as he is black, it also creates an image in the readers mind of Crook being a black innocent man.

The characterization of Crooks is seen as lonely character in Chapter four. Steinbeck uses descriptive language to describe Crooks appearance for example , Steinbeck describes the character as ‘a proud, aloof man. He kept his distance and demanded that other people keep theirs.’ The author seems to be implying that Crooks’ isolation is self-imposed. The word ‘proud’ suggests Crooks’ intelligence and dignity and suggests the idea that he is deeply aware of his prejudicial treatment. ‘Aloof’ also suggests that his disinterest is visible. The author seems to be exploring the idea that loneliness can be a way of protection.

Finish this paragraph: Steinbeck presents Crooks character almost like a slave as he writes that Crrok lives in a 'Stable buck' which means he manages the horses on the ranch, and this is where he sleep. This suggests that he lives a life of solitude, being alone in the barn with no-one coming in to talk to him, 'You got no right to come in my room', 'I aint wanted in the bunkhouse and you aint wanted in here'. This presents Crooks’ thoughts and feelings towards other people and friendship.

Paragraph on structure and form: write it yourself

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