Of Mice and Men – Crooks and Curley’s WifeGet Your
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Throughout the 1920’s, black people and women in America have been forced to live through poor social conditions. Until recent years, these people have been excluded from society and were considered outcasts in a typical community. John Steinbeck shows the reader this in his novella, “Of Mice and Men. ” Steinbeck uses the characters of Crooks and Curley’s wife to display that although one character is a black male and the other, a white woman, they still have similar traits. These factors like discrimination, loneliness and shattered dreams make Crooks and Curley’s wife parallel.
Crooks and Curley’s wife suffer from discrimination around the ranch. Steinbeck expresses discrimination, or prejudice, very simply by refusing to give Curley’s wife a name. She is displayed as only a mere item of Curley’s. Curley’s wife is disliked by ranch hands as they only see and think “she’s a rat trap if I ever seen one” and refuse to talk to her. In a similar fashion to Curley’s wife, Crooks is discriminated and treated unfairly in comparison to the other ranch hands. It is simply evident as they refer to Crooks as a “nigger”. This is offensive but he is at the bottom of the hierarchy so evidently “he don’t give a damn about that”.
His room is situated away from the others as they “don’t want nothing to do with him. ” Crooks is alike Curley’s wife as they are both discriminated and excluded from society. Prejudice towards Crooks and Curley’s wife causes them to be very lonely. Due to the fact that the ranch hands find Curley’s wife troublesome, it means that “she can’t talk to nobody” and this causes her to be lonesome. Steinbeck illustrates Curley’s wife in a way that makes her seem flirtatious and “purty” and this is all the men see in her, though she is simply just trying to make conversation.
Loneliness is also seen in Curley’s wife as she “don’t even like Curley who ain’t a nice fella” and therefore has nobody to communicate with, “even [her] own husband”. Crooks, alike Curley’s wife, is also lonely as he is the only coloured man in the ranch. Due to this, he is isolated from the other men and therefore has nobody to talk to. Crooks’ loneliness can be identified by the scene in the novella when Lennie enters Crooks room. At this moment, Crooks seizes the opportunity to speak with someone at tells Lennie “you might as well set down” and later realises that it’s just the fact that “they’re talking” and “being with another guy”.
This shows that Crooks admires Lennie’s company because he is so lonely every other time. Crooks and Curley’s wife’s discrimination causes them to be lonely. Crooks and Curley’s wife have dreams of their own which have been shattered but they are constantly trying to put them back together. When Curley’s wife was fifteen, she “coulda been in the movies… an’ had pitchers took of me”. However, her “ol’ lady wouldn’t let [her]. At that moment, Curley’s wife’s dream had been shattered by her mother.
Throughout the novel, she dresses seductively in attempt to rebuild her dream of being a movie star and “had nice clothes like they wear. ” In a related manner, Crooks also had the dream of having the feeling of living on his father’s ranch again. When in conversation with Lennie, Crooks reminisces about his past and how his “old man owned a chicken ranch”. In the past, “white kids come to play at [Crooks’] place, an’ sometimes [he] went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice”. He was on the verge of fulfilling his dream, when it was ruined by his father “who didn’t like that”.
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Crooks joins George and Lennie’s dream of owning their own land, in effort to restore his dream of living and playing on his father’s ranch with white people. By joining George and Lennie’s dream, Crooks would be living with white people as well as working on a farm, parallel to his father’s. The dreams of Curley’s wife and Crooks which somehow or another have been ruined and are attempting to piece it back together. Crooks and Curley’s wife, though they are physically opposite, have parallel characteristics which can be identified from causes like prejudice, loneliness, and dreams that have been destroyed.
Author: Josh Garten
Of Mice and Men – Crooks and Curley’s Wife
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What Crook's Room tells us about the Scene Set in Of Mice and Men
- Length: 832 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Of mice and men - What does the scene set in crooks's room tell us about
the life on the ranch?
What does the scene set in crooks's room tell us about the life on the
Crooks scene is a key point in the novel "of mice and men", as the
themes that are touched upon in this scene apply to the whole novel,
and we learn a lot about life on the ranch for example segregation of
the black community and the isolation that is faced while working on
We come across crooks's scene towards the middle of the novel. The
main characters in this scene are Lennie, Candy, Curley's wife and
From the start we soon realise there is mistrust within people on the
ranch. "Slim looked through George and beyond him. "Ain't many guys
travel around together, " he mused, "I don't know why. Maybe
every'body in the whole damn world is scared of each other." "
At the beginning of the scene we get a detailed description about
Crooks's room and his way of life. From the very beginning of the
scene we know Crooks is a Black slave working on the ranch. " Crooks,
the Negro stable buckâ€¦" (Page 66) We also know that Crooks has been on
the ranch for quite some time and will be there for many years to
come. "â€¦he was more permanent then the other men, and he had
accumulated more possessions than he could carry on his back."(Page
66) we also know he is crippled, "His body was bent over to the left
because of his crooked spineâ€¦" (Page 67) Which is probably where his
name originated from for having a crooked spine.
Crooks is black and this is established early on in the scene, because
of this insignificant he is segregated from the other men on the ranch
and is marginalized. During the 1920's black people in America were
treated very harshly just because of the colour of their skin.
During the Crooks's scene we learn a lot about the various characters
in the novel. From the very beginning of the novel we know Lennie is
mentally challenged, "â€¦Lennie dipped his whole head under, hat and
allâ€¦"(page 5), however he also seems oblivious the world around him
and the hurdles that some people have to overcome to get through life
like Crook's. "â€¦I ain't wanted in the bunk houseâ€¦ why ain't you
wanted?â€¦ Cause I'm blackâ€¦" (Page 68).
Crooks and Curleys wife may seem completely different which is true
but in some ways they are both very similar.
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Very Beginning Way Of Life Black Community Crooks Ranch Black People Carry Possessions Page Candy
They both share the same
hopes and dreams of making something of themselves one day. Both
Crooks and Curleys wife are rejected from society, but for different
reasons. Crooks is rejected from society because of the colour of his
skin and Curleys wife is rejected from society because she is seen as
There is a lot of mistrust between Crooks and the other people on the
ranch. Crooks mistrusts people for both the wrong and right reasons.
He mistrusts people because of the dislike that is felt for him, it is
one of the rare feelings that he can feel for the other men on the
ranch. He cannot feel compassion or hatred, as those are too extreme.
However he mistrusts them on the basis that he is mistrusted himself
by them. This is because he is black and due to the segregation laws.
"You got no right to come in my room. This here's my room. Nobody got
any right in here but me."(Page 68)
Curleys wife does not mistrust the other men on the ranch but she is
mistrusted by the men. They are scared of the consequences they may
have to face if Curley catches any of them talking to his wife.
Curleys wife is often referred to as "jail bait". She seems to be a
very resentful person and regretful at the way her life turned out.
Lennie is not accepted within the society that is set in the novel. He
like Curleys wife and crooks is also marginalized but this is because
Lennie is quite mentally challenged, however he knows how to
manipulate George. "Lennie dipped his whole head under, hat and all,
and then he sat up on the bank and his hat dripped down on his blue
coat and ran down his back." (Page 5).
During the 1920's stock market crash every one had to fight for
survival, people only thought about them selves and how they were
going to earn the money to put the food on the table, the novel "Of
mice and men" is based on real life experiences. People did not have
time to show each other empathy they were too busy with their own
lives and every day problems. The Crooks scene tells us what life was
like not only on the ranch in the novel but also what real life was
like on a real ranch.