Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Crooks

Crooks is an African-American stable hand who lives in his own bunkhouse on the farm, separate from the other men due to his race. Arguably the loneliest character in the novel, Crooks, who works with the horses on the ranch, is routinely ostracized due to his race. Although a free man (slavery has been over for generations at this point in history), he still faces discrimination. He also suffers from a physical ailment—a crooked back due to an accident with a horse. Crooks appears as a permanent fixture on the ranch, one who has seen countless migrant workers come and go, dreaming and yet failing to achieve their dreams. Crooks’ conversations with Lennie and Candy reveal his extreme loneliness, as well as his desire for companionship. Curley’s wife, already identified as a person of very low status on the ranch, does not hesitate to threaten to have Crooks killed if he doesn’t allow her in his bunk, illustrating the extreme discrimination and abuse Crooks must face on a daily basis.

Contents