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?