Of Mice And Men
Racism was a strong form of prejudice in the 1930’s, and throughout the novel is violently used against the stable buck Crooks. From his first introduction in the book, he is constantly being described and treated like an animal. In the first description of Crooks’ room in chapter 4, it is referred to as ‘A little shed that leans off the wall of the barn’. This gives the impression that Crooks is not important enough to sleep with the other ranch hands, and must be isolated and separated from them: giving him no other choice but to sleep with the animals: creatures that are on the same level of the hierarchy as him. Also, Crooks’ possessions reflect this image. His bed is described as ‘a long box of straw’ which implies that Crooks isn’t worth his own bed, and must settle for a horse’s trough: something that even a horse doesn’t sleep in, but eats out of.
As well as this, most of his other possessions don’t even belong directly to him. For example, ‘a broken harness in process of being mended; strips of new leather’ and ’a range of medicine bottles, both for him and the horses.’ This shows that even his own room, isn’t fully his own room, and that he has to share it with the horses; suggesting that even the horses are more important than Crooks as even they have the power to invade crooks’ space. It could also mean that all of crooks’ possessions are considered just as worthless as a horses ‘broken harness’. This shows the reader that crooks means no more to the ranch hands than one of the other horses.
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