Of Mice and Men – 2014 – chapter 4

Chapter 4
Candy stood in the doorway scratching his bald wrist and looking blindly into the lighted room. He made no attempt to enter. “Tell ya what, Lennie. I been figuring out about them rabbits.”
Crooks said irritably, “You can come in if you want.”
Candy seemed embarrassed. “I do’ know. ‘Course, if ya want me to.”
“Come on in. If ever’body’s comin’ in, you might just as well.” It was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger.
Candy came in, but he was still embarrassed, “You got a nice cozy little place in here,” he said to Crooks. “Must be nice to have a room all to yourself this way.”
“Sure,” said Crooks. “And a manure pile under the window. Sure, it’s swell.”
Lennie broke in, “You said about them rabbits.”
Candy leaned against the wall beside the broken collar while he scratched the wrist stump. “I been here a long time,” he said. “An’ Crooks been here a long time. This’s the first time I ever been in his room.”
Crooks said darkly, “Guys don’t come into a colored man’s room very much. Nobody been here but Slim. Slim an’ the boss.”
Candy quickly changed the subject. “Slim’s as good a skinner as I ever seen.”
Lennie leaned toward the old swamper. “About them rabbits,” he insisted.
Candy smiled. “I got it figured out. We can make some money on them rabbits if we go about it right.”
“But I get to tend ’em,” Lennie broke in. “George says I get to tend ’em. He promised.”
Crooks interrupted brutally. “You guys is just kiddin’ yourself. You’ll talk about it a hell of a lot, but you won’t get no land. You’ll be a swamper here till they take you out in a box. Hell, I seen too many guys. Lennie here’ll quit an’ be on the road in two, three weeks. Seems like ever’ guy got land in his head.”

How does the writer use language to show the men’s attitudes?

For a C grade:

List all the emotive words used. Why does Crooks feel ‘pleasure’ when he invites Candy in?
List the adverbs (-ly words) used – how do they show the men’s feelings?
Crooks never uses Candy’s name and Candy does not address Crooks directly with his – what does this say about their relationship to each other?

For a B grade:
What do Candy’s short sentences say about the way he feels about coming in?
What phrase shows Crooks is talking sarcastically?
Why does Crooks use the word ‘hell’ twice? How is he feeling?

For an A grade:
Why do you think Candy might be comparing himself to Crooks?
Crooks starts with ‘pleasure’ but ends ‘brutally’. Why is he shown to be so aggressive towards Candy?
Crooks makes strong assertions and is accusative in his tone and use of the second person ‘you’ – how is he trying to make Candy feel?


19 thoughts on “Of Mice and Men – 2014 – chapter 4

  1. Josie

    Aiming for a b
    A) Steinbeck uses the variation of sentence, and uses shot sent evens for the character of candy to imply that he feels uncomfortable and awkward going into crooks bunk. This is shown in the line ” I do’ know. Course, if you want me to.” This indicates a sense of embarrassment as the conversation goes on to say that he had never been in crooks bunk very often due to the fact that crook is black. The reader gets a sense of embarrassment in the way that candy speaks because he barely speaks and when he does he pauses a lot in comparison to Lennie.
    B) sarcasm is shown clearly the extract through the character of Crooks. This is shown in the line “and a manure pile under the window. Sure, it’s swell” this is a reply to Candy’s statement of it being a nice bunk and instead of crooks replying with a serious answer of how it really isn’t instead he plays on it, as if to embarrass Candy even more than he is.
    C) Crooks uses the word hell twice to be repetitive, as if to bang the word into the other characters head. It shows them that it really is hell. It also portrays a sense of frustration at the fact that George and Lennie have dreams to own land whereas he will be stuck at the ranch for the rest of his life; he’s trying to put a negative sense on their dreams.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      I like the way you have worked this all out Josie. Can you see that for part (b) of the ‘Of Mice and Men’ questions, you need to recognise the language techniques (at least three of them)? – here you have short sentences, sarcasm within direct speech and repetition and you have explained their effect really well – could you do this without the questions to guide you? You will have to, but I hope these questions help you understand the kind of thing you are looking for. You are showing a keen perception – if you really want to aim for an A grade, you need to keep going with this kind of work – we will be moving on to Merchant of Venice this term, but all six of these questions need completion. ________________________________________

  2. Rhiannon

    Candy compares himself with Crooks because they have both been on the ranch a long time, and he feels like he can relate to the things he’s suffered: they’ve both had their dreams crushed and he looks to Crooks as someone he can relate to. Candy is old, and Crooks is black: they both suffer discrimination because of the way that the society was laid out. They are both lower class citizens in others eyes, and so Candy feels like he can make that connection with Crooks because of the fact that they are alone. The main thing that they can both relate to more than discrimination is loneliness. Crooks isn’t allowed to have people share a room with him, nor are they really allowed to visit him. Candy is old and doesn’t really connect as much with the younger men on the ranch, but they both realise is that these men are naive with their dreaming: they know what it was like to have dreams and experienced them being taken away from each other, and so they have less hope for the future.

    Crooks is shown to be aggressive towards Candy because he simply despises him. He doesn’t seem to realise exactly what he has compared to him, the one important thing that Crooks wants: freedom. Crooks has always realised that he has no chance of making ends meets because of the colour of his skin, which has always stopped him. Candy and Lennie are both discussing their plans for the future in front of him, aware of the racism that happens and how discriminated against Crooks is. Both Lennie and Candy are in the shadows of the other men who work on the ranch and know their place, but what is really shown from Crooks is envy: jealousy. He would much rather be in Candy’s position as he actually has a chance to go off and live his dream, which explains his negativity. He is sarcastic to them and tries to make them think the way he does so that he is not alone on the ranch while they go off and live their lives the way they want.

    Crooks is trying to make them seem foolish, as though they are kidding themselves. The use of the word ‘you’ suggest that he is directing all his frustrations at these two men, because he knows where they stand upon the other men, and wants to drag them down so that they don’t believe that they have a chance to get out and live freely. He wants them to feel hurt, to make them see his idea of reality instead of living in a dream world where the sun shines. He is cynical about it: he’s been on the ranch a long time, he’s seen it all before. As much as his attitude is venomous, he does have some concern for them because he doesn’t want them to be living a lie and hoping for something that will never happen, because it will drive them crazy.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      An interesting interpretation, Rhiannon. I wonder whether there is more to it. does Candy compare himself to Candy as he wants to ‘buddy up’ and is suggesting that they are similar – does he feel bad about the treatment that Crooks receives? Does Crooks resent the comparison because he thinks he is better than Candy. Does he ‘simply despise’ Candy, or is he just bitter at the unfair life he has been given? As you write, both are underdogs, but how do they feel about their shared position? Does Crooks feel better about himself by ridiculing Candy’s dreams? Could he have used ‘we’ instead of ‘you’? Did he never have similar dreams? Use more quotation in your answers, Rhiannon. You are ahead of the rest of your class – can you finish all six by the end of today (I’ll post the last set now). ________________________________________

  3. Jake Robinson

    In the extract, for the character Candy, Steinbeck uses varied sentence structures to show the way he is feeling. The sentence that this is best shown in is “I do’ know. ‘Course, if ya want me to.” By the way that this is worded it shows that Candy feels awkward in the situation he is in because he can’t get out a proper sentence to reply with and it makes it seem quite embarrassing for him.
    In the extract, the line that shows best of Crooks talking sarcastically is “And a manure pile under the window. Sure, it’s swell.” This is Crooks’s reply to Candy saying “You got a nice cozy little place in here,” Candy is complementing Crooks’s place and he then comes out with that comment which would makes it even more uncomfortable for Candy because he’s been contradicted by him when he was trying to be nice and break the tension.
    Crooks uses the word hell twice as a way of describing what everything is like. He is questioning why the other three keep talking about getting their own place, and talks about seeing all of those people walking out and leaving and it’s just a way that he has used repetitively to get his point across.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Jake, You show good understanding in the first answer, but the way you have worded the other two means you are describing what is happening rather than the effect on the reader. How is the writer using language to show the relationship between these characters? Focus on the question. ________________________________________

  4. Teagan Webster :)

    Aiming for a B:

    a) In the extract, Candy only says a few ahorter sentences because he feels it is an uncomfortable subject matter to speak about going into Crooks’ room. He tells the reader “…Crooks been here a long time. This’s the first time I ever been in his room.” During the 1930’s in America, coloured people were highly discriminated against white people. This also explains why Crooks has a seperate room to the rest of the men on the ranch, as he is the only black person.

    b) The phrase frkm Crooks in the extract that is spoken sarcastically is “And a manure pile under the window. Sure, it’s swell.” Crooks says this when Candy comments on how it must be nice for Crooks to have a whole room to himself on the ranch. The fact there is manure pile in Crooks room shows that it is a not very looked after room, and the other men perhaps dump manure in there on purpose because They feel they must treat Crooks differently because he is a coloured man.

    c) Crooks uses the word ‘hell’ twice in the extract to show his annoyance and exasperation towards the fact that George, Lennie and Candy want to go forward with the ‘American Dream’. Crooks goes on the explain that he knows too many men that have failed doing it, and that they will never achieve it. Is negative opinion on the idea of achieving the American Dream may be pressured by the limits he has had to go through for being coloured, and could contribute towards his lack of encouragement towards their ideas and plans.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      The manure pile is on the outside of the window I’m sure!! You’re right about the short sentences. I think Candy is trying to do more than just say, ‘you’ve got a nice room.’ Has he spoken to Crooks in conversation before? How is he feeling inside? ________________________________________

  5. Aimee Felton

    Aiming for a B
    A) Candy uses short sentences to indicate that he feel uncomfortable and awkward about going into crooks room this is because coloured people didn’t really mix at this time, this is shown in the line ‘guys don’t come into coloured mans room very much’ this shows that because they white people don’t go into crooks room he would feel uncomfortable about it.

    Candy would also feel embarrassed and sensitive about going into crooks room, this is shown to the reader by the short sentences that candy uses and because we don’t hear candy talk a lot in the book, in the sentence ‘I do’ know. Course if you want me to’ we see candy using short sentences giving the effect that he feels awkward and doesn’t know what to say as he has never been in crooks room.

    B) crooks shows sarcasm when he is describing his rooms after candy says he has a nice bunk, ‘And a manure pile under the window. Sure, it’s swell’ by crooks saying ‘it’s swell’ let’s the reader know he is being sarcastic because he doesn’t really think it’s good he thinks the opposite but chooses to let candy know through sarcasm. The sarcasm that crooks uses would make candy feel more uncomfortable than he already was this could possibly make the reader feel sorry for candy.

    C) crooks uses the word hell twice to get into the other characters head that their dreams of having their own land is not going to happen. By repeating the word twice emphasises to to reader how crooks is feeling and how he knows what’s right and he knows they will never reach their dream. It could also show that crooks is getting annoyed that the other think they will be able to do something that they can’t.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      For part (b) do you use sarcasm to people you respect? Would Crooks speak like this to Curley? What does the sarcasm say about the way he feels about Candy? Could Lennie ever use sarcasm? What does it say about his intelligence? part (c) is quite a simple answer, but that is all that is needed in the exam – you just have to pick up on things like repetition. Could you do it without the prompts I am giving you? ________________________________________

  6. Jake Billings

    A) In the extract, lots of adverbs are used to express characters feelings. The use of the word “blindly” when referring to Candy implies that he is oblivious to what is going on. Furthermore, Crooks must feel rather annoyed when the word “irritably” is used, which may refer to the fact that he is annoyed about Candy. The adverb “darkly” when talking about Crooks could also relate to his sour relationship with Candy. Candy is referred to as doing something “quickly”. Finally, Crooks is referred to as doing something “brutally”.
    Crooks and Candy never refer to each other using their actual names which implies that they dislike each other and have a negative relationship.

  7. Josh

    Aiming for a c

    1) embarrassed, irritably, pleasure, anger, insisted, smiled.
    The reason why crooks feels pleasure when he lets candy into his room is because he feels lonely bug he does not want to show it as it , to him, is a sign of weakness, so he covers up the loneliness with anger to distance himself from being hurt.

    2) irritably, darkly, quickly, brutally.
    All of the adverbs in the extract seem to be violent In nature and very aggressive. This paints a very stereotypical viewpoint that men are very aggressive and show no weak emotions.

    3) this shows that they are not good friends and both candy and crooks are both adhering to the social expectations that the white people are more important and are more worthy than the blacks in that era. Also, both crooks and candy are the same in a certain way. They are both discriminated against. Crooks is discriminated against because he is black and candy is discriminated against as he only has one hand. Candy is less useful in the workplace as he has one and hand but he is liked more than crooks. This shows that they are both equal in some way.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      short but very perceptive – well thought out. You will need to write a little more fully in the exam explaining your points with quotations and focusing on the language. ________________________________________

  8. James

    1.Irritably, embarrassed,pleasure, anger.
    Crooks feels pleasure at inviting Candy in because in 1930`s America, people of his race would be segregated from most people. The fact he has some control in the situation and company for once would make him display a lot of happiness but he uses anger to retain his solitary image.
    2. Irritably, darkly,quickly, brutally.
    The words are not very positive, they show that they are feeling not too happy, Candy doesn`t know how to deal with the awkward situation, Lennie is concerned about Crook`s ideas regarding the rabbits and Crooks is agitated by the invasion of his space and Lennie`s unwillingness to listen properly.
    3.Crooks and Candy have never affiliated with each other in the past and therefore have no relationship to speak of. The situation is at best awkward and they seem to have next to no real opinion of each other. They don`t address each other since they never had a reason to in the first place since they never spoke to each other at all.

  9. Jess Branton

    C Grade:
    Emotive Words:
    • Embarrassed
    • Insisted
    • Interrupted

    Crooks is a ‘black man’ in the story ‘Of Mice and Men’. He is a lonely character who lives by himself and doesn’t have many friends. So when he invites Candy into his bunk house he is ‘pleasured’ when he agrees to come in.
    • Blindly
    • Irritably
    • Darkly

    Steinbeck shows the men’s feelings as deep feelings. “Crooks said darkly.” By this is shows something is wrong or something is going to happen. It also shows that none of them are partially happy. Lennie mentions about the rabbits but Crooks changes the subject every time Lennie says the word ‘Rabbits’.

    c) Candy and Crooks don’t have a partially strong relationship with one another. They don’t address each other with their names nor do they show feelings towards one another.

  10. Savannah

    a) Candy compares himself with Crooks, stating that, ” “I been here a long time,” he said. “An’ Crooks been here a long time.” “. This shows that the two have similar experiences, and suggests that the two have never been able to achieve their goals and get away from the ranch. A reason for this could be discrimination; Candy is old, and is missing a hand so is physically disabled, and Crooks has been subject to racism all his life, so neither of them have had many opportunities. Discrimination is a large factor that links the two characters, and Candy seems to recognise this, so he compares the two of them, however, Candy seems to feel he can overcome this by taking part in Lennie and George’s dream, whereas Crooks is held back by his experience, and his bitterness that it won’t work out. This is shown with,“You guys is just kiddin’ yourself. You’ll talk about it a hell of a lot, but you won’t get no land”.

    b) Crooks pleasure at the beginning of the extract is due to his lonliness;he expects solitude, and when two people come in, he cannot hide his happiness at the new company, with, ” “If ever’body’s comin’ in, you might just as well.” It was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger.” This is because he is segregated due to his race, and so he is not used to other people. Because of this, he appears bitter and unwelcoming, but secretly, he is happy just to talk and be treated as an equal person, if for a short while. However, once the other two men start talking about their future, a clear plan in mind, Crooks appears to be envious, perhaps that two men have a chance to live their dream, despite the discrimination aimed at them. Lennie has learning difficulties and therefore is discriminated, Candy is old and is missing a hand, so is physically disabled, which has led to discrimination, and Crooks is black so is discriminated due to his race. However, the other two seem to have a chance, and Crooks feels left out and below the other two, like he has all his life. He then tries to put them down, perhaps as a way to hide his hurt feelings. He feels bitter that Candy and him have been on the ranch for a long time, and now Candy is going to live his dream. The only way to get rid of his jealousy, for him is to “brutally” try and make Candy and Lennie feel as bad as he does, so he says, “You guys is just kiddin’ yourself.” and carries on trying to put them off their dream, perhaps to feel above them, like he could leave if he wanted but doesn’t want to, rather than he can’t, and to feel some kind of superiority.

    c) Crooks makes strong assertions and is accusative in his tone and use of the second person “you”. This is shown with, “You guys is just kiddin’ yourself. You’ll talk about it a hell of a lot, but you won’t get no land. You’ll be a swamper here till they take you out in a box.” This is because Crooks doesn’t want to accept that he too had failed dreams, so uses “you” as opposed to “we”, which suggests that he doesn’t want to admit that he too cannot achieve his goals either. In addition, his strong accusations create the impression that he is aware he is limited by his race and the discrimination that is aimed at him, so by dragging the other two down, he feels more free and equal.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      FANTASTIC – best answers I have read on the blog. I don’t think you’ll have time for all this in the ten minutes allowed – how will you cut to the analysis – what will you leave out?

      Sent from my iPhone


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