Alone and Discriminated in Of Mice and Men Essay Example

Alone and Discriminated in Of Mice and Men Essay Example
📌Category: Books, Literature
📌Words: 937
📌Pages: 4
📌Published: 11 June 2021

So what if you were alone and discriminated against? In the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, two characters named George and Lennie have traveled to a ranch to work. George is smart, small and short, while Lennie strong, tall, and have mental disabilities. When they are working on the ranch, they meet many characters in the book with problems, like Crooks. Crooks is an African American man who has a crooked back. That is just a personal problem, but there is a serious problem such as discrimination. The color of Crooks has made other ranch workers see as subhuman (meaning less than human). There are a ways Crooks deals with this by demanding his own space as they keep theirs, inflicting his emotions on someone who is not as smart like Lennie, and keeps quiet when punished. There is nothing Crooks could do, so it all depends whether the society changes up their actions to treat Crooks fairly. 

How Crooks deals with discrimination

Crooks is an African American that deals with discrimination based on his race. He lives alone in the harness room, which holds saddles for the stables next door. At the start of section four it describes Crooks’s quarters, it states, “Crooks, the negro stable buck, has his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn.” (65, Steinbeck). In section four, it seemed as if Crooks has been living in this shed when he started working. Basically, they have been discriminating Crooks from the start. When everyone gathered to play a game of cards, Crooks would not join them because they wouldn’t accept him. If he was a different color, like if he was white then he would be living with them and playing cards, but in reality he isn't and has to deal with the threats of Curley’s wife in his own room. She says, “Well, you keep your place then, Ni***r. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.” (79,Steinbeck). What Curley’s wife did was uncalled for, all Crooks wanted was her to get out of his room. Curley’s wife thought she was superior than him, so she could do anything she wants to Crooks.

Crooks has found a way to cope with discrimination, in fact he demands to have his own space as they keep theirs. Crooks does not want anyone in his room, but Lennie stumbles by and offers some company. Crooks tells Lennie, “You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me,” (66, Steinbeck). Crooks is coping with discrimination by avoiding it. He does not want anyone with him, as he is afraid of being discriminated. The quote Crooks said to Lennie did not affect him, as Lennie didn’t understand what Crooks wants. After a while, Crooks lets Lennie in because he notices that Lennie has a disability. Crooks invites Lennie for a chat. During the chat, Crooks tries to make Lennie imagine himself as if he was alone. The reason why Crooks did this is to show Lennie how he felt. He says to Lennie, “‘I said s’pose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no more.’ Crooks pressed forward some private victory.” (69-70, Steinbeck).

This is another way of where Crooks copes with discrimination. Crooks chooses to pick on people lower than him so that they will understand what Crooks is going through. Crooks does this to Lennie because Crooks thinks that Lennie will understand what Crooks is going through and help him make a change. A way Crooks copes with discrimination is by accepting it. When Curley’s wife enters the room, Crooks told her he had enough and wants her out of his room. Curley’s wife is now mad and yells at him while Crooks just lets it happen. “Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality… He said, ‘Yes ma’am and his voice was toneless.” (79, Steinbeck). Crooks has accept discrimination. He knows that he cannot do anything about it because no one in the ranch would help him.

What if the other ranch workers have heard Crooks, they would realize what they are doing to Crooks and act differently so that Crooks could have a comfortable life. Crooks is a guy who wants to be involved in what the other characters are doing, but he cannot join them because of his race. An action that would improve Crooks’s life is to accept him into a game of cards. That way, he can get along with everyone on the ranch. Another way the characters on the ranch could help Crooks is by listening and feeling the emotions Crooks is going through. If they decide to listen, they would make it easier for Crooks, making Crooks’s life adequate. If Crooks is treated wrongly, he could have gone into town hall to start a rally. That way, the society could join him to bring awareness to discrimination so it can finally stop. If their rally is successful, their might be laws to further enforce anti-discrimination.


To conclude, discrimination has influenced Crooks, other characters have mistreated him due to his color. He has learned to cope by wanting his space, treating others how he is treated and, (staying quiet when he is punished). Crooks couldn’t do anything to help himself, it depended on what other people could do to choose what is right. Today we do not see discrimination regularly, but there is still some. Two examples of discrimination today is when a black student tried to join a dance team at their school in Kansas and was told they cannot join because they were too dark. The other one is where a “Lawmaker hit by 'Egg Boy' censured for blaming New Zealand mosque shootings on Muslims”. Both of these sources were from the New York Times and occured this year. Discrimination has been slept on, an alarm hasn’t been set to wake up everyone towards discrimination.


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