Of Mice and Men

How is Curley"s wife's treatment of Crooks similar or different from the way Crooks treated Lennie?

Curley's wife comes into the room. Crook says, "It wasn't nothing," Crooks said dully. "You guys comin' in and settin' made me forget. What she says is true."

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Initially Crooks is rude to Lennie even though he desperately wants Lennie's companionship. Curley's wife is also rude to Crooks. I think, however, the similarity ends here. Curley's wife is vicious towards Crooks. She projects all her inner pain and abuse on to Crooks. Although Crooks is sad and frustrated about being segregated from the other men, Curley's wife has a desperation about her that is truly tragic. She humiliates and threatens Crooks because she has no control over anything else in her life. Like Crooks, she feels segregated from people on the ranch but she has the added stigma of being her husband's property.