In Of Mice and Men, why is Crooks so lonely?
Crooks is an older man whose body is literally bent to the left; he is a "cripple," in Steinbeck's words. He lives by himself in his own bunk in the harness room with a few spartan possessions, and his attitude is aloof and distant from the other men on the ranch. He takes care of the horses on the ranch.
Crooks is lonely because he is the only African-American man for miles around. While he was born in California, where his father owned a chicken ranch, he has always felt different and unaccepted because of his race. He has become used to being alone and lonely, but he also has an element of bitterness. He relates well to Lennie, though Crooks is initially hostile to Lennie and taunts Lennie by telling him George will never come home. Crooks begins to become excited about living with Lennie and George on the ranch they plan to start, but this excitement is only a temporary break in his loneliness.