What does the language Candy uses tell about the nature of the relationship between blacks and whites in the time and place in Of Mice and Men?
when candy is talking about crooks, the stable buck in section two
In this section, I think the most important quote we can use to analyze the relationship between black and white occurs in these words:
"He was sure burned when you wasn't here this morning. Come right in when we was eatin' breakfast and says, 'Where the hell's them new men? An' he give the stable buck hell, too."
This shows us that black people were considered a lesser class. The boss was mad at two white men. However, here we are given the impression that he took his anger out on the stable buck because of their actions. That isn't fair and it demonstrates the discrimination of the era.
Likewise, throughout the text, when the boss refers to the stable buck or when he calls him he uses profanity. We see "hell" here. A couple pages further in the book the boss says:
"Where the hell is the God damn nigger?"
The use of the term "nigger" was regularly used in the thirties. No one saw a problem with it... except maybe black folks who didn't get a say in how the word was used.
Thus, the relationship was one of outright disrespect for the human dignity of a black person. Being thought of as the lesser race, blacks were regularly degraded in the words and deeds of white people.
The language that Candy uses to describe Crooks and his relationship with their boss demonstrates many things. First, that the boss would take the freedom to annoy Crooks on purpose, perhaps because of the fact that he is black and the racial separation at the time was abysmal.
Secondly, the reaction of Crooks towards his boss, in which he is said "not to give a darn" about the boss demonstrates that the altercation was as strong on one side as it was on the other. This being said, the blacks were as antagonistic to whites as whites were to blacks. They disrespected each other mutually and detested each other with equal disdain.
The only difference was that Crooks was badly lonely, and felt it. He could not connect with anyone because of his personal disdain for whites, the anger that he felt for the bad treatment he has received through the years, not to mention the fact that he was physically disabled as well. Yet, he preferred to be isolated completely and remain so. The whites did not seem to miss him much either.
Therefore, both bands were equally unsympathetic to each other and the tension was felt from a distance.