Who is Crooks in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men?  

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Crooks is the black stable-hand on the ranch who gets his nickname from his crooked back. Unlike the white workers on the ranch, Crooks is forced to live by himself in a small room attached to the barn because he is black and the farm is segregated. Crooks suffers from racial discrimination and is a sympathetic character who is extremely lonely and ostracized.

In chapter four, Lennie visits his room and Crooks initially displays the corrosive effects of loneliness and discrimination when he purposely upsets Lennie by talking about George leaving him. Crooks also reveals his loneliness by lamenting his difficult situation on the farm and expressing his desire to be treated like he was equal. When Candy and Lennie initially talk about their dream of owning their own homestead, Crooks mentions that it is impossible. Once Candy comments on how close the men are to reaching their dream, Crooks becomes drawn to the dream and offers to help on their homestead for free. Shortly after dreaming about a better future, Curley's wife enters the barn and threatens to have Crooks lynched after he tells her to leave. Overall, Crooks is a sympathetic character who illustrates the difficulties of being a black stable-hand on a segregated farm during the Great Depression.

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Crooks is an African-American stable hand who lives by himself, isolated from the other ranch hands, in the harness room. Crooks was born in California, where his father had a chicken ranch. Though he grew up playing with white children, his father liked to maintain his distance from white families, as he knew that they would treat him in discriminatory ways. Crooks is used to being the only African-American person around, including on the ranch. He is called Crooks because he is crippled and has a crooked spine. Steinbeck describes Crooks as "a proud, aloof man."

After years of experiencing racial discrimination, he keeps away from others and expects that they will treat him in the same way. He is lonely and occupies himself reading books because he can't play horseshoes with the other men. Lennie befriends Crooks one day when the rest of the men are in town, and while Crooks is at first unfriendly, Lennie's simple manner wins Crooks over. Crooks becomes excited about Lennie's dream of owning his own land one day.

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