Of Mice and Men


Section Four, Five, and Six

Section 4

Section four begins with Lennie and Crooks having a conversation in the harness room of the barn and ends after Crooks is threatened by Curley’s wife.

The next night after the altercation between Curley and Lennie, the black stable hand Crooks is spending time alone on his bed in the harness room of the barn. Crooks is described as being socially cold and spends a lot of time alone in his space doing quiet activities, such as reading. He is physically characterized by a crooked back, hence leading to his nickname, “Crooks.” After spending time tending to his new pup, Lennie wanders to the doorway of the harness room, where Crooks is situated. Lennie is lonely and looking for some company, but Crooks initially is resistant and tells Lennie to go away. Crooks says to Lennie that since he cannot enter the bunkhouse because of his black skin color, then Lennie should not be permitted to be in Crooks room because he is white. This all is ignored, as Lennie does not have the mental capacity to understand the comparison being made by Crooks. Lennie innocently goes on to tell Crooks that all of the other workers had gone into town for the evening and that Lennie noticed the light on in Crooks’s room and wanted to come and visit with him. Crooks, who is feeling lonely himself, then invites Lennie in, realizing that he is no threat.

As Lennie is conversing with Crooks, he begins to talk freely and openly about the plans he and George have to leave the ranch and have their own dream farm, which directly disobeys George’s wishes not to share the plans with anyone. These musings are dismissed by Crooks initially, who assumes that all this talk is just ranting due to Lennie’s mental handicap. At this point, Crooks provides some of his personal background from his childhood, indicating that he grew up in an area where his was the only black family, and he was warned by his father never to spend time with the white kids in the neighborhood. This resulted in him feeling alone and isolated, which he feels...

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