Why doe's Crooks talk to Lennie?
Reading Guide chapters 3-4
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Crooks is the black stableman. Now pretty much everybody, except for Lenny and George, is lonely. Crooks is even more isolated because, being black, he can't join the white ranch-hands in any activities. He is not even allowed in the same cabin as them. Initially Crooks rebukes Lennie but is so lonely that he allows Lennie in his little hut. Although the conversation is very odd (Lenny talks about petting puppies) Crooks desperately wants the company.
Crooks talks to Lennie because he quickly realises that Lennie is his inferior, as a mentally disabled person. He is aware that as he has wit, Crooks is cleverer than Lennie. He can confide in him and torment him. Crooks has always been the inferior on the ranch, as a black man who is physically disabled. He is caught by an instinctive drive to exploit the weaker man-
'Crooks face lighted with pleasure in his torture...'
Crooks realises that he is being cruel and asserts that his behavour is due to the intensity of loneliness he has felt-
'He whined:'A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody...a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.'
Source(s): 'Of Mice and Men' - J Steinbeck