What is Candy and Lennie's plan in "Of Mice and Men"? And how does Crooks react and why?

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julikiyomi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Candy and Lennie plan to use Candy's savings and the total earnings George and Lennie can manage to put aside to purchase their own land.  It will be the first time they will ever have the opportunity to experience the freedom of being their own bosses.  Crooks at first asks if he can be a part of the plan too, working for free in exchange for being allowed to live on the land with the others.  He musters the courage to make this bold request because Lennie, by virtue of his inability to perceive differences in class or race, sees Crooks as no different from anyone else and has truly treated him as an equal.  Crooks also feels superior to someone else for the first time in his life because he is smarter than Lennie.  The momentary confidence that Crooks exhibits is short-lived, however, and he soon changes his tone in order to protect himself from the rejection he is sure is going to come.  When the other men return to the ranch he calls out to Candy and Lennie, saying that he was only kidding; he takes back his offer to work for free and doesn't really want to join the others in their plan to purchase land anyway.