This affected Curley in a negative way, making him always fearful for his future. Black people are discriminated against and suffer in many ways as a result. Crooks is the black stable buck who spends most of his time isolated in his own room finding comfort by reading books. The only time he is able to be social with the others is during a game of horse shoes, so he is very lonely. When Lenny visits Crooks, Crooks says a few things that verify his loneliness and how much he wishes he could be accepted.
Steinbeck describes Crooks’ living condition to be, “For being alone…Crooks could leave his things about, and being a stable buck and a cripple, he was more permanent than the other men” (67). Crooks’ deformed back deprive him of working with the other men, thus denying him an opportunity for personal contact with them. Next, Crooks becomes accustomed to seclusion and begins to be suspicious of any man who tries to make friends with him. Crooks cannot go in the bunkhouse of the white ranch hands; therefore, he turns Lennie away from his own place. His longing for company wins over and he then invites Lennie to accompany him (68).
Crooks is the “stable buck” for the ranch, the man who provides the support for the many horses and mules the farm uses. He also has a “busted” spine. When he is firstly introduced he is referred to as a “nice fella” however, all the people at the ranch use the term “nigger”. They don’t seem to use the word as a way of insulting Crooks but is just what was normal in that time and they didn’t know better. The boss gives him “hell” but despite this Crooks claims not to “give a damn” which suggests he is independent and proud.
Steinbeck is trying to put across the loneliness people felt at the ranch especially crooks. “number of possessions; for, being alone, crooks could leave his things about”, from this we can infer that no one entered his bunk or stole from him due to the colour of his skin. Steinbeck is also reiterating that no whites socialised with blacks at that time and that there was an incredible amount of segregation. Furthermore because of this segregation Crooks almost had to have plenty of possessions to keep him occupied. “Crooks possessed a single-barrel shogun” which enforces the fact that he had been beaten up or racially attacked so he needed a means of security to defend himself and his dignity.
Crooks is intelligent, reads books and like any human, requires friendship. He is denied these due to the fact that he is black and not through any fault of his own. When Lennie visits him in the room, Crooks' reactions reveal the fact that he is lonely. As a black man with a bad back, he is forced to live on the border of ranch life. He is not even allowed to enter the others (white men) bunkhouse, or join them in a game of cards.
All the characters suffer with unhappiness in their lives because none of them can escape the misery of being on their own. While starting the novel we are told by George ‘Guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.’ By this George means if they didn’t have each other, than he and Lennie would be all alone. While the novel continues to the first introduction of the ranch, everyone seems lonely. Crooks experiences the most isolation because the society is extremely racist. He
Being a nigger, Crooks is hated by the whites at the ranch and he resents this. As he says "If I say something, why it's just a nigger sayin' it" and this shows his anger at being pushed to the side. Being troubled has made him seem cruel and gruff, but also has turned him to self-pity and the idea that he is a lesser human. He says to Lennie, "You got no right to come in my room.....You go on get outa my room. I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse and you ain't wanted in my room."
He likes to pet soft things, but because he cannot control his strength, he kills all his pets, such as mice and his puppy. He stays the same throughout the novel. He does not go through any development. George is, in contrast to Lennie, a short and tempered man. His main purpose is to protect Lennie, who is lost without him.
Power and Powerlessness Lust for power can be the driving factor of pain and suffering to many people as they assert their control with little regard for the consequences and ramifications for their actions. Such ideas are toyed with in Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men (OMaM) in which the text explores the plight of individuals who willingly suffer at the hand of unfair power dichotomies due to the all pervasive allure of the American dream as seen with the eventual collapse of Lenny and George's dream of owning a ranch. Manipulation over another human can be used for their own benefit but is used in the novella as a way to protect the manipulated person. It is immediately apparent that George takes a parental roll in his relationship with Lennie. The sentence "Give it here!"
Crooks is a man, supposedly young but disabled, that likes books and keeps his small room neat, but has been so beaten down by loneliness and prejudicial treatment of that he is now suspicious of any kindness he receives. Racial discrimination is part of the microcosm Steinbeck describes in his story. It reaches its height in the novel when Curley's wife puts Crooks "in his place" by telling him that a word from her will have him lynched. Interestingly, only Lennie, the child-like character, does not see the color of Crooks' skin. Crooks isn’t ashamed about his inheritance but has pride and tells Lennie he doesn’t descend from slaves but from landowners.