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Steinbeck explores what it might be like to be isolated, lonely and marginalized. Crooks feels frustrated and alone. His only space is the hovel beside the stables. Lennie, unknowingly, intrudes on his space. Crooks is segregated from the other men so his space is the one shred of pride he has left. Really Crooks desperately wants to talk with somebody, anybody. This is why he pours his heart out to Lennie. Lennie is mentally challenged. This puts Crooks, for a moment, in control. Crooks controls nothing so his taunts to Lennie are simply an effort to control something, anything. The scene is very sad, it is the expression of a soul in pain.