What happens in Chapter 4 of "Of Mice and Men"?

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Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lennie goes out to the stable to visit with Crooks because George and the rest of the men have gone to town.  At first Crooks tells Lennie to get out.  As the only black man on the ranch, Crooks has been segregated to the stable and is not even allowed into the bunkhouse where the rest of the men sleep.  Once Crooks sees that Lennie is harmless, he begins to talk with Lennie and even starts to dream of teaming up with Lennie, George and Candy to "buy the little place" so that he can be his own boss.  Curley's wife enters the stable and threatens Crooks, reminding him of his "place", dampering the almost jovial mood of the moment.  As soon as George returns and Lennie tells him that Crooks wants to join them in their dream, George yells at Lennie for talking too much.  Crooks overhears this and feels unwanted.  Therefore, he comforts himself in saying that he's changed his mind because so many others have come through with the same dream and never did anything about it.