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Reading Assignment: Finish Reading Of Mice and Men


Writing Assignment: Please write a paragraph explaining why Crooks goes out of his way to torture Lennie on pages 70-72. What do you think is his motivation? Why does he suddenly switch gears and become nicer to Lennie? As always please open with a reference to the book and author.

This is a tougher assignment than usual because it has several parts. You have to describe what Crooks does to Lennie. Then*  you have to explain why he does what he does. (That's the motivation part) Finally,* you have to explain why Crooks suddenly switches gears (changes his behavior)

** Then and finally are are both transitions. Notice that the previous sentence doesn't have any transition. That's because it comes right after the word "parts." I'm expecting readers--that would be you--to automatically make the right connection, "Oh that must be one of the parts."  But the farther I get away from that opening sentence, the more I use transitions so that my readers--again you--understand the relationship between the new sentences and the first one in the paragraph. 

I have included a photo of Crooks and Lennie from a stage production of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, although this is not how I pictured either. What about you?crooks and lennie



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  • crooks and lennie
Last edited by Laraine
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Here is Alice"s response to the writing assignment:

At first, Lennie in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a timid man but has enormous size. Even though sometimes he responses slowly, and feels a bit silly, but he is kind and genial. At first, when Lennie want to get into Crooks’s room, he refused him. Crooks thinks everyone think that he is a nigger, so there is no need for him(Lennie) to visit him. But after a while, Lennie’s speaking influenced him, he saw his innocence, he let him in at last.

I like very much that line "He saw his innocence." I think at some point in the scene, that is true.  I like, too, that you realized how much the racism directed against Crooks influenced his behavior with Lennie.  That is one of Steinbeck's major points in the scene between the two men, that Crooks, who has always been treated badly, suddenly feels he has power over a white man.  

You have left out the part about how Crooks verbally tortures Lennie and I am wondering why. I will send you an e-mail about the assignment, and perhaps via e-mail, we can discuss why you don't mention that aspect of Crooks's response to Lennie. By the way, I am impressed at how well you use the apostrophe to express possession; Crooks's is correct. But many Americans would get that wrong. I am impressed that you did not. 

In the book Of Mice and Men, Lennie is a paper tiger, he don’t know what to do after he broke Curley’s hand. Then Crooks go interrogate him. At first, Crooks threaten Lennie. And tell Lennie everything that George never tell Lennie. Then Crooks became kind and persuasive. Crooks tried to make Lennie crazy so he told Lennie George may leave. But Lennie won’t believe. Crooks try to broke te relationship between Lennie and George but he lost.

If they had  a "love" as opposed to "like," I would hit it. Yes, indeed, Lennie is a paper tiger, but god only knows how you know that phrase. Once again, many English speakers would not know it.  And yes, Crooks trie to make Lennie crazy, but he can't "break"(I like your choice of verb) the relationship.  This is great. The only part missing is why did Crooks try to "make Lennie crazy."

In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, Crooks was really mean to Lennie because Lennie has a great friend and he is white so others may not be mean to him. But Crooks quite different from Lennie, he is lonely, he is black so he didn't get many friends. So he was angry about that. But after talking to Lennie, he suddenly switch gears and become nicer to Lennie. He thought that Lennie was poor because Lennie is just like a kid that he can't live without George. And he also wants to protect George when George is in trouble. That made Crooks respect him very much so Crooks didn't be mean to him any more.

Nicely done. You are absolutely right to point to Crooks's resentment of Lennie's whiteness and friendship with George as the sources of his anger. Isolated by his skin color, he is boiling with a rage  that he can't normally express.  Great, too, that you correctly used the phrase "switch gears," although I'm not sure that  Crooks switches gears because he feels sorry for Lennie, at least not at first.  But I'll write more about that in an e-mail. For now,  very nice job on this assignment. 

Last edited by Laraine

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