How is the setting of Crooks' room in Of Mice and Men important to the novel?Essay title- What is the importance of settings in the novel Of Mice and Men?

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e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Isolation and alienation are key themes in Of Mice and Men. Crooks' room offers a physical example of these themes. 

Crooks, the despairing old Negro stable worker, lives alone in the harness room, ostracized from the ranch hands.

As a person of color, Crooks is not allowed to share quarters with the other men on the ranch. This means that he is "priviledged" to have his own room, but also literally isolated and kept to himself. He lives alone in the stable and his "separate-ness" from the rest of the ranch hands is symbolically represented by his physical separation from them. 

George, Lenny, Candy and Curley's wife are each characters that also express the themes of isolation and alienation. In different ways, these characters are all kept apart from other people. 

When Lenny goes into Crooks' room and Candy comes in as well, Curley's wife also enters the room and identifies the group as the "weak ones". She, fittingly, is also one of the weak ones, a person with no social power. 

The significance of Crooks' room as a setting rests mainly in its use as a place where one outsider lives and where other outsiders briefly congregate.