How are Crooks, Curley's wife and Candy lonely and isolated characters?
Almost all of the characters deal with loneliness and isolation to some degree in Steinbeck's novella. The two characters who could be considered the loneliest, however, are Crooks and Curley's wife. For a brief time Candy is also quite lonely.
Crooks is the black stable buck on the ranch. He is also partly crippled after being kicked by a horse. Because he's a black man on a ranch dominated by white men he is the victim of both racism and segregation. He is usually not allowed in the white bunkhouse and the one time he is welcome he is involved in a fight, presumably over race. Candy describes the scene:
"They let the nigger come in that night. Little skinner name of Smitty took after the nigger. Done pretty good, too. The guys wouldn’t let him use his feet, so the nigger got him. If he coulda used his feet, Smitty says he woulda killed the nigger. The guys said on account of the nigger’s got a crooked back, Smitty can’t use his feet.”
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