What is the significance in the scene enacted in Crook's room with Curley's wife, Lennie, Crooks and Candy in Of Mice and Men?This passage is basically a portrayal of the misfits that the...

What is the significance in the scene enacted in Crook's room with Curley's wife, Lennie, Crooks and Candy in Of Mice and Men?

This passage is basically a portrayal of the misfits that the characters are. I want to have a clearer explanation of what went on, if there is a bigger meaning in this scene.

Asked on by huyenn1

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When George talks with Slim, the mule skinner with "God-like eyes," he tells him,

"I ain't got no people....I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone.  That ain't no good.  They don't have no fun.  After a long time they get mean.  They get wantin' to fight all the time."

Chapter 4 of Of Mice and Men illustrates this statement of George.  The long years of alienation have had an effect on Crooks and Candy and George.  Because he has been isolated so much, Crooks exhibits hostility to Lennie when he enters the barn; in fact, Crooks baits Lennie, telling him George will not return.  But, when Lennie becomes upset, Crooks relents and eventually confesses to being desperately lonely:

A guy needs somebody--to be near him....A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody.  Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you.  I tell ya...I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.....He got nothing to measure by."

Then, as he and Lennie converse in a friendly manner, they are interrupted by the entrance of Candy.  Crooks returns to his cot as his mistrust seizes him again.  Still, it is difficult to "conceal his pleasure with anger" as Candy stands in the doorway, so he invites the old man to come in his room.  Candy does, but remarks that he has not ever been in Crooks room even though the two of them have been on the ranch for years. 

It is significant here that the dream which now includes Candy stretches almost to include Crooks, who offers to work for free.  At this point the theme of fraternity is evinced.  But, this dream is interrupted by the appearance of the Eve, Curley's wife, and the mood of camaraderie is broken. 

Steinbeck's theme of isolation is exemplfied in this chapter with the lonely misfits present in one place.  Evidence of man's intrinsic cruelty is also illustrated as the rejected character turns on the others.

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