The extract I have chosen is from the beginning of chapter four and stretches from page 71 to page 73. This extract gives a detailed description of Crooks, his room and his possessions. The entrance of Lennie into Crooks’ room and the development of their relationship throughout the scene is shown. At the beginning of the extract Lennie is not welcomed into Crooks’ room, but at the end they begin to befriend each other.
I chose this extract because it provides us with excellent examples of descriptions, dialogue, themes, relationships and vocabulary and language in relation to the social status of certain characters. There is an authorial judgement of Crooks and the introduction of Crooks into the novel. Also, Steinbeck’s style is demonstrated very well.
The descriptions in the extract reflect the style of Steinbeck as he lists Crooks’ possessions in a simple way inorder for the reader to understand the bareness of Crooks’ life. This includes ‘a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905.’ This along with his ‘gold-rimmed spectacles’ gives the impression that Crooks is educated and conscious of his rights. The civil code further emphasises the theme of prejudice and racism; also it is proof that he is not a “Southern negro”.
On page 71, Steinbeck makes an authorial judgement of Crooks, he says, ‘Crooks was a proud, aloof man.’ Steinbeck does this to summarise Crooks as a character in a short space of time instead of describing Crooks subtleley throughout the novel. This is because ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a short novel and has an element of time and this is why Steinbeck makes these authorial judgements.
Steinbeck draws the character of Crooks with considerable pity and sympathy. This is illustrated by the extensive detailing of Crooks’ ‘crooked spine,’ his ‘deep black wrinkles’ and ‘pain-tightened lips.’ The reader sympathises with Crooks because he is physically inept and suffers silently.