Crooks is the ‘negro stable buck’ who is prejudiced for being a crippled black man, is embittered by his loneliness and suspicious of any kindness he receives. He’s not allowed to stay with the other ranch workers in the barn, instead his accommodation is described like an animal cage which gives a sense that he’s also treated like an animal: ‘Crooks’ bunk was a long box filled with straw, on which his blankets were flung.’ Steinbeck uses light and dark imagery to symbolise that Crooks has lost hope as only a ‘meager yellow light’ glows in his room. The mixture of racism and loneliness has made Crooks spiteful, he’s cruel and tortures Lennie with ’S’pose George don't come back no more.’ Lennie is thrown by this idea and his response shows that he is afraid of being alone; of being without George. Even though Steinbeck just provides a graphic, eloquent portrayal of the problem, Crooks is depicted in a sympathetic manner, especially as he believes ‘a guy needs somebody’ and in this passage he continuously repeats words that allude to loneliness as well as the word lonely. For example, he explains to Lennie ‘a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.’ Crooks sees loneliness as an illness similar to how Steinbeck saw it in his own life: something we are born with and something we either fight or succumb to all our lives. Crooks was not always alone, he used have a family who he was close to which is similar to Steinbeck after his parents died he became dissatisfied with his life.
Lennie unwittingly soothes Crooks into feeling at ease, and Candy even gets the man excited about the dream farm, to the