Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What quotes show that Crooks is lonely in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In addition to the fine quotes already provided, it is important to note that description, counterintuitive as this seems, often conveys emotion. We can perceive Crooks' loneliness in the depiction of how he is forced to live apart from the other men:

Crooks, the Negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn. ... This room was swept and fairly neat, for Crooks was a proud, aloof man. He kept his distance and demanded that other people keep theirs.

His loneliness comes through too as he says to Lennie:

"I ain’t wanted in the bunk house, and you ain’t wanted in my room.” “Why ain’t you wanted?” Lennie asked. “’Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. ..."

We can imagine the loneliness Crooks experiences at the kind of wholesale rejection he is subjected to because of his race, segregated into a separate room with only a box of straw to sleep in.

Crooks' loneliness reveals itself for a moment in his expression of longing to be part of the ranch Lennie, George and Candy dream of owning. Crooks offers to work for nothing to be part of this community:

“ . . . . 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-abitch if I want to.”

Much as Crooks accepts his loneliness, he would give almost anything to end it.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Crooks is the African American stable hand with a crooked back. Unlike the other workers on the ranch, he is prohibited from sleeping and staying in the bunkhouse with the other men because of his race. Instead, he has his own small room attached to the barn, where he lives alone and isolated from the other workers. Crooks is a relatively cantankerous man because of his marginalized status, and he initially treats Lennie with scorn when Lennie first enters his room. However, the reader discovers that Crooks's pessimistic personality is a result of his loneliness and grief. After upsetting Lennie, Crooks reveals his loneliness by telling him,

S'pose you didn't...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 781 words.)

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Inuk Lee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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