Alienated and isolated, Crooks is probably the most lonesome man on the ranch. Having been relegated to the stable with the mules, Crooks has no human contact in the evenings; he is not allowed to play cards with the other men nor share in their palaver in the bunkhouse.
Made hostile and defensive because of his isolation and the racial discrimination of the others, Crooks is immediately suspicious and on guard when Lenny approaches one night in Chapter Four:
"....You go on get outta my room. I ain't wanted in the bunk house, and you ain't wanted in my room."
Then, Crooks displays his cruelty, born of lonely despair. He suggests misfortune to Lennie,
"...suppose George went into town tonight and you never heard of him no more." Crooks pressed forward some kind of private victory....Crooks's face lighted with pleasure in his torture.
But, because of Lennie's childlike ingenuousness, Crooks relents in his torture, and speaks instead of his own torture:
....A guy set alone out here at night, maybe readin' books or thinkin' or stuff like that. Sometimes he get thinkin', an' he got nothing to tell him what's so an' what ain't so. Maybe if he sees somethin', he don't know whether it's right or not. He can't turn to some other guy and ast him if he sees it too. He can't tell. He got nothing to measure by...."
Crooks speaks of the necessity for the fraternity of men, the necessisty for having someone by whom one can measure oneself. Otherwise, one is terribly alone.