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The two main literary devices Steinbeck uses to portray Crooks on pages 66 and 67 are omniscient third person narration and direct speech. Through these devices we see Crooks portrayed as an almost tortured soul because of his loneliness as an outsider. We are also made aware that he is somewhat bitter as a result of his station in life.
Crooks's bitterness comes through in the narration when he aggressively makes the point to Lennie that without George he (Lennie) would have nothing. "Crooks bored in on him. "Want me to tell ya' what will happen....' " (p.66). Yet at the same time Crooks is shown to have a keen survival instinct as he knows when he has pushed Lennie too far, "Crooks saw the danger as it approached him. He edged back on his bunk to get out of the way." (p. 66).
Steinbeck uses long passages of direct speech from Crooks to illustrate just how lonely and isolated this character is, "S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk-house and play rummy 'cause you were black? How'd you like that?" (p.66). The extent of Crooks's loneliness is revealed when he even seems to be questioning his own soundness of mind, ""I seen things out here. I wasn't drunk. I don't know if I was asleep. If some guy was with me, he could tell me I was asleep, an' then it would be all right. But I jus' don't know." (p. 67).
Steinbeck has used literary devices to portray Crooks in a way that may position the reader to feel empathy for this marginalized character.
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