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Chapter 4 Journal Response Questions

Directions:   Choose 1 of the questions below and write a response.  Each response needs to be a paragraph in length, or 5 plus sentences.  Remember that a paragraph consists of an opening or introductory sentence, a concluding sentence, and the middle sentences contain the details and proof of your point.  Spelling and grammar count.  Make sure to properly quote material by enclosing excerpts from the text in quotation marks.

1.  Steinbeck uses the description of the harness room to reflect the character of Crooks, the ‘negro stable-buck’.  List eight to ten objects from the two opening paragraphs and write what you think each one of them says about Crooks.  An example is given below:

… a long bunk filled with straw–Crooks’ bed is like an animal’s, showing that, as a black man, he is treated little better than a beast.

2. Both physically, and in terms of status and situation, Crooks has a lot in common with Candy.  Use quotations from previous sections alongside this extract to demonstrate this, and comment on the comparisons.  Do you think Steinbeck has deliberately done this?  If so, why?

3. Crooks’s taunting of Lennie seems cruel in this section.  Why does he behave in this way?  What is significant about the way in which Lennie responds?

4. Through the character of Crooks, Steinbeck finds plenty to say about the nature of dreams and the “dream farm”.  Find five quotations that you feel are significant, and explain each.  What is significant about the way in which Crooks also buys into the idea by the end of the conversation?

5. What does Curley’s wife mean when she says, ‘They left all the weak ones here’?  Who are the “weak ones”?   Why are they considered weak and by whom are they considered weak?

6.  Find and write the quotations which show how Crooks reacts to the threats of Curley’s wife.  What exactly is she threatening, and why does Crooks react in the way he does?

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