In chapter 4, Candy arrives in the doorway of Crooks's private room while Lennie is inside and begins discussing their dream of purchasing their own homestead, where they will live off the land and Lennie can tend rabbits. Crooks interrupts their discussion and proceeds to elaborate on the impossibility of their dream. Crooks tells Candy and Lennie,
"I seen hunderds of men come by on the road an’ on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an’ that same damn thing in their heads. Hunderds of them. They come, an’ they quit an’ go on; an’ every damn one of ‘em’s got a little piece of land in his head. An’ never a God damn one of ‘em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head" (Steinbeck, 36).
Crooks has been on the ranch for some time and has never witnessed a laborer save up enough money to purchase their own piece of property. Crooks displays his pessimistic attitude by telling Candy,
"You guys is just kiddin’ yourself. You’ll talk about it a hell of a lot, but you won’t get no land. You’ll be a swamper here till they take you out in a box. Hell, I seen too many guys. Lennie here’ll quit an’ be on the road in two, three weeks. Seems like ever’ guy got land in his head" (Steinbeck, 37).
Candy responds to Crooks's negative comments by saying that they've already saved up enough money and George knows where there is a plot of land for sale at a reasonable price. Crooks is taken back by this information and briefly entertains the possibility of attaining the seemingly impossible dream. Crooks even contemplates the possibility of joining the men and partaking in their dream by saying,
"I never seen a guy really do it . . . I seen guys nearly crazy with loneliness for land, but ever’ time a whore house or a blackjack game took what it takes.” He hesitated . . . . "If you . . . guys would want a hand to work for nothing—just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a son-of-a-bitch if I want to" (Steinbeck, 37).
Overall, Crooks initially thinks that Candy, George, and Lennie's dream is impossible to attain. His experience on the farm has taught him that nobody can ever save up enough money or formulate a plan to attain their dreams. However, Crooks eventually entertains the possibility of sharing their dream and even offers to lend a hand on their homestead. In the end, Crooks's initial assessment of their dreams proves correct after Lennie kills Curley's wife and ruins their plans.