Of Mice and Men

Curly's wife also demonstartes utilizing rascism to exude her power over crooks. What does she do to exhibit her control and how does crooks react?

chapter 4

could you please provide a quote if possible with page number

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The passage is really sad. It's not just sad because Crooks is insulted, it is sad because all Curly's wife has is the ability to make racially charged insult and threats,

“Listen, Nigger,” she said. “You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?”

Crooks stared hopelessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew into himself.

She closed on him. “You know what I could do?”

Crooks seemed to grow smaller, and he pressed himself against the wall. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung upon a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.”

Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. (ch. 4 near the end. book copies vary)

All Crooks has is his hovel, so he turns on anyone to protect his shred of dignity. Curly's wife feels like nothing. She feels so painfully insignificant that Steinbeck doesn't even give her a name. Her anger and sadness turns on Crooks to make him feel the same way. The vicious cycle of suffering and isolation makes these people, who so desperately need each other, turn on each other.