How Does Crooks Feel Lonely?

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About this sample


Words: 678 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 678|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Loneliness is a universal human experience that can be deeply isolating and emotionally distressing. In John Steinbeck's novella, "Of Mice and Men," the character Crooks is portrayed as an African-American stable buck who faces a profound sense of loneliness on the ranch. Crooks' isolation is a result of his race, social status, and physical disability. Through his interactions with other characters and his own thoughts, it becomes evident that Crooks feels lonely due to the discrimination he experiences. This essay will analyze the various reasons why Crooks feels lonely and explore the implications of this loneliness on his mental and emotional well-being.

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One of the primary reasons why Crooks feels lonely is due to the racial discrimination he faces on the ranch. Being the only African-American worker, Crooks is subjected to constant racial slurs and derogatory comments from his fellow ranch hands. Steinbeck highlights this when he writes, "They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me" (Steinbeck, 68). This quote illustrates the isolation and exclusion Crooks experiences as a result of his race. He is not allowed to participate in activities with the other workers solely because of the color of his skin, which intensifies his sense of loneliness.

In addition to racial discrimination, Crooks' social status as a stable buck further contributes to his loneliness. As the only black worker on the ranch, Crooks is segregated from the rest of the men. He is forced to live alone in a separate room, which is described as "a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn" (Steinbeck, 66). This physical separation symbolizes the social distance between Crooks and the other workers. They see him as inferior and unworthy of their company. Furthermore, the fact that Crooks is not allowed to enter the bunkhouse further emphasizes his isolation. The bunkhouse is the social hub of the ranch, where the other men gather and interact, leaving Crooks in a perpetual state of loneliness.

Moreover, Crooks' physical disability intensifies his feelings of loneliness. He suffers from a crooked back, which causes him constant pain and limits his mobility. This physical ailment not only separates him from the other workers but also prevents him from engaging in physical activities. Steinbeck depicts this when he writes, "Crooks had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn. On one side of the little room there was a square four-paned window, and on the other, a narrow plank door leading into the barn. Crooks' bunk was a long box filled with straw" (66). The descriptive language used here emphasizes the physical confinement Crooks experiences. His physical disability further isolates him from the rest of the men, exacerbating his sense of loneliness.

Furthermore, Crooks' loneliness is evident in his interactions with other characters. When Lennie, George, and Candy enter Crooks' room, he initially resents their intrusion, as he is not used to having company. However, he soon realizes that their presence provides a temporary relief from his loneliness. Crooks confesses, "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody... I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick" (Steinbeck, 72). This statement reveals the detrimental effects of prolonged loneliness on an individual's mental and emotional well-being. Despite his initial resistance, Crooks craves human connection and finds solace in the presence of others.

In conclusion, Crooks' profound sense of loneliness in "Of Mice and Men" is a result of the discrimination he faces due to his race, social status, and physical disability. The racial slurs, social segregation, and physical confinement all contribute to his isolation from the other workers on the ranch. Crooks' interactions with other characters highlight the detrimental effects of prolonged loneliness on an individual's mental and emotional well-being. Through Steinbeck's portrayal of Crooks, readers are reminded of the importance of empathy and understanding in combating loneliness and the devastating impact it can have on a person's life.

Works Cited

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Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Penguin Books, 1993.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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How Does Crooks Feel Lonely? (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“How Does Crooks Feel Lonely?” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
How Does Crooks Feel Lonely? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
How Does Crooks Feel Lonely? [Internet] GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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