Study Guide

Of Mice and Men Chapter 4

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 4

  • Crooks is sitting in his room when Lennie comes by. They're alone, because everyone else has gone off to Suzy's clean and comedic house of ill repute.
  • Lennie (revealing his secret-keeping capabilities) immediately tells Crooks about the dream farm.
  • You'd think that Crooks would be sympathetic, because he's kind of an outcast, too. But you'd be wrong. Loneliness has made him hostile, and he starts taking out his anger on Lennie by insinuating that George may never come back.
  • Lennie freaks out and gets mad. Crooks sees Lennie towering over him and retracts his comment. Lennie calms down. Phew. That was close.
  • Somehow, Crooks decides this is the perfect moment for a speech about how every guy needs another guy to talk to.
  • Evidently Candy didn't go to Suzy's, either, because he comes in now to talk about the farm they're supposedly getting.
  • Hey, Crooks wants to be part of this plan!
  • Just as they're doing some really nice male-bonding, Curley's wife appears in the doorway. "They left all the weak ones here," she says, in a surprising burst of (cruel) insight.
  • Curley's wife reveals she's lonely and wants someone to talk to, even if it is a "n***** an' a dum-dum and a lousy ol' sheep."
  • The "n*****, dum-dum, and sheep" just want her to leave, thanks.
  • Curley's wife asks Lennie how he got the bruises on his face. Crooks tells her again to leave, and she threatens to have Crooks lynched.

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  • The men return from Suzy's brothel, $2.50 poorer.
  • When George comes in and Candy admits that they've told Crooks about the farm, George is Not Happy.
  • Nah, man, Crooks was just joking. He retreats once again into the sadness and safety of his solitary life.