Help needed for a PEE (Point, Evidence, Explanation) paragraph about the racism faced by the character Crooks in Of Mice and Men related to the sentence, "They play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black’’.

Expert Answers

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Point, evidence, explanation (PEE-an unfortunate acronym if you ask me) is a common structure for students learning to write essays. The point is an argument about some specific topic. It must have a definite point of view. The evidence can include examples, statistics, narratives or quotations. The explanation synthesizes the point with the evidence and provides interpretation and explanation of the significance of the evidence. 

In Of Mice and Men, Crooks is the black stable buck who experiences racism and segregation on a ranch run by whites in depression era California. When Lennie enters his room in chapter four Crooks is hesitant to let him in because of how he is treated by the other men. He says,

“’Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me.” 

Here's a potential PEE paragraph:

Like many places in 1930's America, racism and segregation are part of the fabric of society on the ranch in John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men. When asked by the simple minded Lennie why he isn't wanted in the bunkhouse, the black stable buck Crooks replies, "They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black." Because of his skin color Crooks is isolated from the other men on the ranch in a time when being black assured second class citizen status.

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