“Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ want to go to no place like that.” (OMM #4)

Discuss chapter 4 of Of Mice and Men through here.  Be sure to include many specific text-based details in your commentary, but DO NOT summarize.  Be sure also to reply to your classmates as the discussion evolves over the course of the evening.

Also, don’t forget to annotate your text as you read and to write two or three discussion questions for class.  Remember, though, that a discussion question should not have an answer.  Rather, it should provoke interesting conversation.

OMM blog #4

35 thoughts on ““Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ want to go to no place like that.” (OMM #4)

  1. In chapter 4 of OMM I would like to discuss the following part:
    Crooks said darkly, “Guys don’t come into a colored man’s room very much. Nobody been here but Slim. Slim an’ the boss.”
    Candy quickly changed the subject.

    This part caught my eye because they mention the boss. We don’t see a lot of the boss and we only get Candy’s insight on him that one time. In this part Crooks is saying how people don’t come in his room. Only Slim and the boss. When he says this Candy quickly changes the subject. This is because Crooks says the boss comes into his room. This tells us that Candy is uncomfortable with talking about how the boss beats Crooks. This also shows us Candy is afraid of the boss. When Candy describes the boss he says he’s a good man. The reader knows he isn’t, but Candy doesn’t say it.

    Discussion Questions:
    What role does Candy play in the story’s theme of loneliness?
    Why doesn’t Steinbeck talk about the boss frequently and only shows his character once?

  2. Something that I noticed about this chapter was the interaction between Crooks and Lennie and how they acted around each other. Crooks is a very closed off kind of guy, living at a time where African Americans weren’t treated fairly, he did close to nothing other than work with all of the other men. That may be just because of his personality and who he is or maybe the other men treat him badly. But what is very interesting about this chapter is that despite what the other think, Lennie comes to sit in Crooks room and be with him while the rest of the men are out in town. Lennie could have very easily just been lonely and needing someone to talk to so he went to Crooks, who was the only one there. But, none of the men would have easily gone to Crooks if they needed someone to talk to due to the fact that although he wasn’t, he was seen as different or not as good as the other men from the color of his skin. They would have cared about his skin and not the person that he really was but lennie didn’t care. It caught Crooks by surprise when Lennie walked into the room to talk to him because it seemed as though no one had really done that before. Lennie just walked in and started talking to him and being kind to him because that is just who Lennie is or I guess was. He just cares so much and has a very big heart that he uses to take care of those around him. They both aren’t close with each other normally, but in the moment in his room, they are just both there for each other.

    • This is a very interesting blog, Ryan. I like how you pin pointed that Lennie isn’t just defined by his mental disability. He is still human, and has a heart. Great work!

  3. In chapter 4 of “Of Mice and Mice,” we see Lennie and Crooks and Candy have a scene together. This chapter is probably my favorite, because we see Lennie unattended by George. While George is out on the town, Lennie has the freedom to make his own personal choices on the ranch. He can go anywhere and do anything. With this freedom, Lennie decides to stop by the stable where he encounters Crooks for the first time. On page 68, Crooks kept saying that Lennie has no right to be in his room, and that no one has the right to be in there, and that he has the right to keep his light on. Crooks speaker a lot about rights, which expands his character on how he reads the book California civil code. He knows his rights a s a human, and his rights when he just wants to be alone in his room. This scene shows two characters who are completely different from each other and the world around them come together. Crooks has really been the only character on the ranch to blatantly tell Lennie that he is crazy. All the other characters notice it and ask George, but Crooks just tells Lennie. Lennie responds to this by telling Crooks the his fantasy of the rabbits is real, and that George said it is. Crooks then asks Lennie if he always understands what George is telling him. This is the first time we’ve seen Lennie almost question and truly ponder about George’s authority over him. Crooks then asks him why if George was gone. What would Lennie do? Lennie just disagreed reassuring Crooks and himself, that George is careful, and knows what he is doing at all times. Crooks then scares Lennie by telling him that when George is gone, Lennie will be put in a mental hospital and be put in a collar, like a dog. Crooks is the only character so far who has been open, and honest with Lennie. The other characters have tiptoed around Lennie, just letting George deal with him. But now that Lennie is alone with Crooks, Crooks can say anything, and have a real conversation with Lennie. Crooks’ dialogue on the bottom of page 72 onto page 73 is all about loneliness and being able to speak to someone. Without George, Lennie would really have no one due to his mental illness. Crooks has no one because he is a black man in the great depression. He couldn’t go see the other men in the ranch because he is black. We see Crooks’ yearning for a companion, and someone to speak to. He is sick of his loneliness. Perhaps he’s so hesitant to let others into his room because everyone has shunned him, so he sees no point in trying. Then on page 81, after Curley’s wife interjects into Crooks, Lennie, and Candy’s conversation she yells at them. She tells that they are basically scum off the bottom of her shoe. She calls Crooks a vulgar name, Lennie a dum dum, and Candy a lousy old sheep. These three characters have the most distinguishable traits and disabilities. Crooks is the only black man on the ranch and has a crooked back, Lennie has his mental disability, and Candy is missing his hand. Curley’s wife tells them, “Nobody’d listen to you an’ you know it. Nobody’d listen to you.” (page 81) This moment shows that the workers had no freedom of speech on the ranch, and more importantly, those were are disabled, or seen as minorities were silenced and cut off from the world. These three characters who are disabled in their own way are in Crooks’ private corner of the world in their own loneliness within each other’s company. Until Curley’s wife barges in and tells them that they are nothing and that no one cares about them. And they all accept this insult. It is heartbreaking to say that this is still how some people are treated today. This chapter pages 72, 73, and 81 stuck out to me as important, and places where we can have a good class discussion.

  4. Tonight’s reading of Of Mice and Men involves Lennie, Crooks, and Candy, along with Curley’s wife. The chapter starts with Lennie looking for company, and then turning to Crooks. They talk about their lives, pasts, and futures, and Candy arrives. They have a conversation until Curley’s wife appears. She antagonizes all three until Crooks forces her out. The thing that struck me the most as interesting today was how raw and realistic the characters are. We can all see George and Lennie, but if we look at the supporting characters, it becomes so much clearer. Take Crooks, who is black. While he has been more minor in the past, we get so much more out of him here. He says, “The white kids come to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ol’ man didn’t like that. I never knew till long later why he didn’t like that. But I know now.” (page 70). Steinbeck makes his character ultra-realistic because Crooks actually recognizes the racism and how he is discriminated against. He knows that the world is unfair to him because of his skin-color. His story of when he was younger also brings about another image, that of innocence in children. We see it here in Crooks, but also in Lennie. Lennie, throughout the novel, seems to be on a lower level than others, due to his disability. But he is an optimist and is simple. Even as he is about to die, he says, “And I get to tend the rabbits….An’ live of the fatta the lan.’” (page 105). We talked today in class about how Lennie is like a dog, but he also shows some competence, and I see him more as a young person, like a toddler. A third thing I want to highlight here is the language that everyone uses. It is imperfect, and that is done purposely so. These people are commoners, and therefore use the common words like “ain’t” or they use double negatives. John Steinbeck even let’s people like Curley’s wife and Crooks talk the same way, and this says something. It shows that they are more. It all goes back to Crooks being realistic. Allowing him to talk the same way puts him on an even playing field with the others, and shows that he is skilled and can do more, despite the difference in skin color. This chapter revealed a lot more to me in how Steinbeck’s characterization and message.

    • Discussion Questions:

      Why does Steinbeck portray innocence so thoroughly in this novel, besides the obvious fact of Lennie?

      Why is Curley’s wife such a negative character? Is it only because we have gotten to know her from the point of view of the men?

  5. Crooks bored in on him. “Want me ta tell ya what’ll happen?
    They’ll take ya to the booby hatch. They’ll tie ya up with a collar like a dog.” Suddenly Lennie’s eyes centered and grew quiet, and mad. He stood upand walked dangerously toward Crooks. “Who hurt George?” he demanded. Crooks saw the danger as it approached him. He edged back on his bunk to get out of the way. “I was just supposin’,” he said. “George
    ain’t hurt. He’s all right. He’ll be back all right.” Lennie stood over him. “What you supposin’ for? Ain’t nobody goin’ to suppose no hurt to George.” Crooks removed his glasses and wiped his eyes with his fingers. “Jus’ set down,” he said. “George ain’t hurt.” Lennie growled back to his seat on the nail keg. “Ain’t nobody goin’ to talk no hurt to George,” he grumbled.

    Lennie is very dependent on George. He is afraid that George is hurt, and is afriad of the thought of being left alone. He cannot live without George, and is afriad to even think about it. Lennie is also sensitive, when Crook talked about being left alone, Lennie gets very angry very quickly. The text also stated how “Crooks saw the danger as it approached him.” Lennie wants to protect George, and he definitely has the strength to do so. Is Crooks afraid of Lennie? I would be afraid. Lennie is a very strong man, and he does not want anyone to be messing with George.

    Crooks said gently, “Maybe you can see now. You got George. You know he’s goin’ to come back. S’pose you didn’t have nobody.
    S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ’cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, butthen you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody tobe near him.” He whined, “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya,” he cried, “I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.”

    This is another passage that struck out to me, and it follows the paragraph I have analyzed above. Crooks is isolated from all the other workers because he is a black man. During this time, the early to mid 20th century, there was a lot of segregation, so it is not surprising that Crook is left alone. Companionship is a very important theme in this novella, as we see the togetherness of Lennie and George, however Crook is the complete opposite. He has nobody and is alone. He says that no one can survive alone, and that loneliness is sickening. However, what is crazy to me is that the one love that is shown (George and Lennie) ends in death. Mr. John Steinbeck, you’re saying that loneliness is bad, but then the one person that is not lonely gets killed? What is that supposed to mean?

  6. After re-reading chapter four of, Of Mice and Men, we finally see Lennie without George to make his decisions for him. Lennie, being all alone, goes to Crooks, the only black man on the farm. Curley’s wife comes to Crooks shack and verbally harasses him. Earlier, Crooks tells Lennie that ” “If I say something, why it’s just a nigger sayin’ it.”…Crooks laughed again. ‘A guy can talk to you an’ be sure you won’t go blabbin’. Couple of weeks an’ them pups’ll be all right. George knows what he’s about. Jus’ talks, an’ you don’t understand nothing.” He leaned forward excitedly. ‘This is just a ni**** talkin’, an’ a busted-back ni****.” Crooks tells Lennie it does not matter what he says because he is a black man. Lennie does not understand that race matters. He thinks every man is the same. Lennie is the only person on the farm, except maybe Slim, who does not discriminate against Crooks. When Curley’s wife comes into the shack, she eventually upsets everyone. Crooks steps in and says, “‘You got no rights comin’ in a colored man’s room. You got no rights messing around in here at all. Now you jus’ get out, an’ get out quick. If you don’t, I’m gonna ast the boss not to ever let you come in the barn no more.'” First, Crooks says what he says does not matter. Then he starts telling Curley’s wife to back off. It does not work, but he still tries to defend himself. He contradicts his own statements.
    Discussion question:
    Why does Crooks say his words don’t matter, but tries to defend himself anyway?

    • Great job Aniket. I think Crooks tried to stand up for himself even though he knows he can’t because for a brief moment he forgot his place. Mostly everyone at that time believed African Americans were lower than others.

  7. In chapter 4 of Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck shows us more about how the role of a person’s race and status plays in their interactions with others. It first begins with Crooks. When Lennie enters Crooks’ room, he protests but eventually relents and tells him about his earlier life. When he was younger, Crooks says that he played with the white kids, but his father didn’t like that. He didn’t realize why until later on.

    “The white kids come to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ol’ man didn’t like that. I never knew till long later why he didn’t like that. But I know now.”

    This shows how Crooks’ being African American affected his life. Because he was black, he wasn’t allowed to play with the white kids. Next, Curley’s wife comes in. After a couple exchanges of words, she says,

    “An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs一a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep一 an’ likin’ it because they ain’t nobody else.”

    Curley’s wife states that while everyone else is out doing something, she’s standing there talking to people like a nigger, dumb dumb and a sheep. Because those 3 types of people are looked down upon by higher people, she condescends to them. Their statuses cause people to treat them differently. Trying to stand up for themselves, they threaten to get her fired or not let her in the barn ever again. However, she quickly puts them down. Because Crooks is black, Curley’s wife can get him lynched easily. Lennie and Candy, on the other hand, have no say.

    “ ‘If you was to do that, we’d tell,’ he said quietly. ‘We’d tell about you framin’ Crooks.’ ‘Tell an’ be damned,’ she cried. ‘Nobody’d listen to you an’ you know it. Nobody’d listen to you.’ ‘Candy subsided. ‘No… ‘ he agreed. ‘Nobody’d listen to us.’ “

    Clearly, the rights and privileges to act certain ways and do certain things is affected by a character’s role or status in life.

  8. Crooks said irritably, “You can come in if you want.”
    Candy seemed embarrassed. “I do’ know. ‘Course, if ya want me to.”
    “Come on in. If ever’body’s comin’ in, you might just as well.” It
    was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger.

    This passage is from the moment Candy entered Crooks’ room. Crooks pretends to not want anybody to come in, and tries to act displeased and angry. But, in reality, he has not had this much meaningful human contact for most of his life, and is very excited and joyous about this opportunity to actually talk to people. Crooks enjoys talking to Lennie and Candy, and while he treats them badly on the outside, he is really thankful and happy that they have taken their time to actually listen to what he is saying. On the contrary, the rest of the guys are jealous of Crooks, as he has his own room. Crooks is alone and can do/say what he wants, which a lot of the guys want for themselves. This shows how you can have things that you don’t necessarily want, but other people dream for. And those same other people can have the exact things that you want but don’t have. Everything that you don’t have and desire for seem perfect, as you are only looking at the positive side of it. Once, or if you actually have it, you start to realize that it is not as perfect and flawless as you thought it was, and you see the flaws and negatives. Crooks and the white people show this well, as Crooks longs to be able to talk with others, and the white people want to be alone and away from everybody else.

  9. In chapter 4 (pages 65-83), Crooks and Lennie meet for the first time and it’s one of the first George-less interactions Lennie has in the novel. Lennie wants to go see his pup, but he accidentally stumbled into Crooks’ living quarters and Crooks is very much so upset about it. More so, bitter than upset. Crooks who is essentially powerless in the time period he was living in because of his social status and his skin color, but with Lennie, someone who is totally oblivious to the power they wield, Crooks has the power. But he didn’t realize how fragile Lennie was and really emotionally tormented him. Crooks let his newfound power get to his head and hurt Lennie in the worst way. He became the devil on Lennie’s shoulder and attempted to fill Lennie’s head with doubt. I think Crooks did this because, Lennie was describing a beautiful life Crooks can never have. Crooks is still very wrong for terrorizing Lennie the way he did, no matter the reason.
    I also noticed that Crooks on page 72 was describing what he thinks would happen if Georhe didn’t come back and he once again compared Lennie to a dog,
    ” ‘They’ll take ya to the booby hatch. They’ll tie ya up with a color, like a dog.”
    I think I’m this scenario Crooks sees Lennie as some uncontrollable animal and George his handler. It’s a very dehumanizing and demeaning view on their relationship. Crooks believes Lennie can’t function without George and would need to be restrained. I think it’s quite interesting how this theme of human vs animal has been reappearing throughout the past 2 chapters.

    • Great blog! I love how you said that Crooks was acting like a devil on his shoulder because Lennie and George could have a fantasy that Crooks could never have. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  10. After rereading chapter 4 of Of Mice and Men, I want to talk a bit about Crooks. The character of Crooks is an authorial achievement on several levels. We have already seen how the world conspires to crush men who are debilitated by physical or mental infirmities. With Crooks, the same unjust, predatory rules hold true for people based on the color of their skin. Crooks’s race is the only weapon Curley’s wife needs to render him completely powerless. When she suggests that she could have him lynched, he can mount no defense. The second point to note about Crooks’ character is that he is less of an easily categorized type than the characters that surround him. Lennie might be a bit too innocent and Curley a bit too antagonistic for the reader to believe in them as real, complex human beings. Crooks, on the other hand, exhibits an ambivalence that makes him one of the more complicated and believably human characters in the novella. He is able to condemn Lennie’s talk of the farm as foolishness, but becomes seduced by it nonetheless. Furthermore, bitter as he is about his exclusion from the other men, Crooks feels grateful for Lennie’s company. When Candy, too, enters Crooks’s room, it is “difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger.” Yet, as much as he craves companionship, he cannot help himself from lashing out at Lennie with unkind suggestions that George has been hurt and will not return. And despite the fact that Crooks, Lennie, and Curley’s wife are all at a disadvantage, all they ever do is bicker with each other. In a better world, Crooks, Lennie, and even Curley’s wife might have formed an alliance, wherein the various attributes for which society punishes them—being black, being mentally disabled, and being female, respectively—would bring them together. On the ranch, however, they are pitted against one another. Crooks berates Lennie until Lennie threatens to do him physical harm; Crooks accuses Curley’s wife of being a tramp; and she, in turn, threatens to have him lynched. As she stands in the doorway to Crooks’s room looking over at the men, she draws attention to their weaknesses. Deriding them as “a [n*****] an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep,” she viciously but accurately lays bare the perceptions by which they are ostracized by society. Like Crooks, Curley’s wife displays a vulnerability in this scene, readily and shamelessly confessing her loneliness and her unhappy marriage. But because she is as pathetic as the men who sit before her, she seeks out the sources of their weakness and attacks them.

    • Great Job, Mighty! Your blog was terrific and included more interesting and valid points. Also, your analysis was spot-on when explaining Crooks. Keep up the great work!

  11. In pages 66-83 of the novella Of Mice and Men, I noticed that the theme of loneliness shown. We talked about in class how most of the men that traveled did so alone. They didn’t depend on anyone else or help anyone but themselves. They were in the world alone. This was similar with Crooks. He was black, and so everyone avoided him. When Lennie comes to talk to Crooks, at first Crooks tells Lennie to go away. He says, “You go on get outta my room. I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain’t wanted in my room.”(pg.68) Crooks probably thinks that Lennie came there to make fun of him or came in there by accident. When Lennie started talking to him, Crooks softened and began having a conversation with Lennie. Crooks enjoyed Lennie’s company. He spent many years alone, and then Lennie comes along and talks to Crooks like he is a fellow person. Back then, blacks were not considered people, but Lennie breaks that tradition. When Lennie leaves, Crooks becomes sad and withdrawn again. Lennie, even if it was for a short while, was not lonely anymore. With company, Crooks was happier. If more men at the ranch had someone like Lennie to be friends with, to travel with, to help, maybe they would be better off. George and Lennie almost never seem lonely because they have each other. Instead of seeing it as a weakness, the men should think of it as a strength.

    • I forgot to add my questions.
      1) Did Crooks refuse to be part of George and Lennie’s fantasy home because he knew that it was hopeless?
      2) What would Lennie do if George would abandon him?

  12. After reading Chapter 4 Of Mice and Men, I reread the portion of the chapter in which Lennie walks over to Crooks for some company. Crooks takes advantage of Lennie, as Lennie has no idea what racism is and how powerless Crooks is. Overall, Lennie doesn’t see color. And since he doesn’t remember much, he doesn’t know the difference between good and bad people. Crooks compares Lennie to a dog, panting and eager to do anything that is required of him. However, even though he harshly ridicules Lennie, I also feel bad for Crooks because he is to be isolated, and not associated with anyone in the general vicinity. This relates back to John Steinbeck’s perspective on America. Like we said in class a few days ago, I think it was Patsy who said, that this book is for those in this time period who didn’t have a voice. This chapter is for us, the reading audience to see a part of Crooks. Also, this part in the book relates to the theme of loneliness. As Lennie and Crooks are both ignored from everyone else on the ranch (or in society), they find joy in being together, or the feeling of togetherness.

    • I enjoyed reading your blog. I completely agree that this book is made for those without a voice. Even though Lennie isn’t intelligent, he is the only person who doesn’t discriminate against others. Lennie can make anyone talk to him; Crooks is just another person who falls under Lennie’s power.

    • Nice job Anjali! I love how you related your blog to our class discussion. I think that Patsy’s idea that this book is for those who didn’t have a voice is very interesting and I loved reading your views on the concept. Keep up the great work!

  13. “You got George. You know he’s goin’ to come back. S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ’cause you was black.”

    Chapter 4 of “Of Mice and Men” brings new themes to the story. We briefly talked about the above text and the messages it contained in class. We mentioned that this shows Crooks is all alone. Lennie and George are the exact opposite of Crooks. Lennie and George have each other, and so they are never alone: Crooks is the only African American on the ranch, and so he is all alone. People don’t even talk to him or let him play cards with them. Steinbeck uses Crooks to show the effects of racism. Crooks continually expresses how he would like a friend and even goes as far as to ask whether he can join George and Lennie.

    “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… I could get you strung upon a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.””

    Here is another example of racism. Curley’s wife flaunts her unfair control over Crooks, and he can’t do anything about that. All he does is retreat into a corner. Crooks is a very well-crafted character who is designed to inform on racial discrimination. Steinbeck also gives Crooks some faults to make him a complete character and like other characters. One character Crooks is similar to is Candy. Both want to go to the dream farm because of their fear of being kicked off their current farm. The main difference between Candy and Crooks is that Candy isn’t African and that difference is all that is needed to isolate Crooks. Steinbeck’s world provides no safety, especially for people who are different.

  14. In chapters 4 of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, many interesting and significant events take place. From Lennie talking to Crooks in the harness room to after Curley’s wife threatening Crooks, Steinbeck provides the characterization of Crooks. First and foremost, Lennie is looking for company and goes to Crooks to full fill his loneliness. Immediately, Crooks tells him to go away that as a black man, he is not allowed in the white quarters, so white men are not allowed in his. It seemed that the at moment Crooks wanted to be by himself, and a little cranky. Lennie does not understand what Crooks are saying and insists that everyone else has gone into town and that he saw Crooks’s light on and thought he could come in and keep him company. After that, after realizing how innocent Lennie really is, Crooks invites him in. This act shows that Crooks is indeed a good character at heart and truly care about other, despite being discriminated aginst due to his race. Next, Lennie accidentally tells Crooks about farm a secret and begins to babble cheerfully about the place that he and George will buy someday. Crooks does not believe him, assuming that the fantasy is part of Lennie’s mental disability. He tells Lennie about his own life, recounting his early days on a chicken farm when white children visited and played with him. Still, he says, he felt keenly alone even then. His family was the only black family for miles, and his father constantly warned him against keeping company with their white neighbors. As the only black man on the ranch, he resents the unfair social norms that require him to sleep alone in the stable. It is evident that the farm means a lot to Lennie and he is really passionate about it. Also, we the readers really see how isolated Crooks really is solely based on the color of his skin. In addition, We the readers a really given a close look at the characterization of Crooks as well as Lennie feelings towards the farm.

  15. In Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, I’ve been looking very closely at titles and names and after re-reading chapter 4, I want to discuss Candy’s name and his personality. To me, I always thought of Candy as a sweet guy who Lennie talks to but in this chapter, we see his mean side. I think just like how candy can be both sweet and sour, Candy is both mean and nice. Maybe Candy has the name Candy because he acts differently in different situations. This leads me to the question, is Candy his real name or just his title/nickname? If it is just a title then maybe his name does have to do with his personality. Taking a look back into the chapter, when Curley’s wife was being rude to Crook and Lennie, Candy said, “Maybe you just better go along an’ roll your hoop.” I interpreted this as “why don’t you just mind your own business?” Although Curley’s wife was a bit rude, I feel bad for her because she is lonely. Even if she is rude to them, what gives Candy the right to be mean back? Why couldn’t Candy be the bigger man and say something along the lines of, Hi, I know you might have been through a lot but can you please act a bit kinder to us because it’s hurting our feelings. If this happened, I think that Curley’s wife would realize what she’s doing and change her attitude. Candy also said, “ we don’t care whether you know it or not. So maybe you better jus’ scatter along now.” Again, this could’ve been said nicer. Just because she came to them with a grumpy attitude, it doesn’t mean they should do the same, but instead, they should be kind about it. If you think about it, being mean to her isn’t going to get him anywhere but just make her even more mad. By seeing this mean side of Candy I really thought of the candies that are sour on the outside and sweet in the middle. Just like how Candy keeps going back to that mean attitude when there is no point, people keep eating sour candy even when they know it burns. Why do we eat sour if we know it’s going to burn and why is Candy mean when it’s not helping anything? Do you think Candy’s mean attitude was necessary? Does Candy’s name and the candy that you eat have anything to do with each other or is it a coincidence? Did Steinbeck do this for a reason? Does someone’s name/title truly have an impact or are a reflection of their personality?

  16. In chapter 4 of “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck we see Lennie go into Crooks’ room. What I found most interesting about this chapter was when Crooks was hypothetically asking Lennie what he would do if George didn’t come home that night. George got extremely defensive and went on saying that George wouldn’t leave him and he would be safe. Both Lennie’s and Crooks’ reactions interested me. As I said, Lennie got extremely defensive about losing George. I think that this shows she severity of his mental illness. Although Crooks said over and over again that he was just “supposin’”, once the idea of George leaving him was put into his mind, it was all he could think about. I believe that this is both influenced by Lennie’s mental illness and George’s actions. George always says that he doesn’t need Lennie in order to get Lennie to listen to him. I feel like George says this thinking that Lennie won’t remember it, but clearly he does, the idea just needed to be emphasized in his mind. What interested me about Crooks’ reaction was that he didn’t get as scared as I thought he would have. Imagine a big guy like Lennie being upset and getting mad because of something you said. Personally, I would freak out. But Crooks’ didn’t, he just kept saying that he was just “supposin’”. It makes me wonder about Crooks’ past. In this chapter we got a little insight into his past, but not much. I kind of feel like Crooks reacted like he had dealt with mentally ill people before. I wonder why Lennie has this one-on-one moment with Crooks if he isn’t supposed to be a really important character (according to the “C”= common man theory). I feel like Crooks could be a much bigger character, but sadly he isn’t.

  17. Chapter four in Of Mice and Men provides a better look into the personality of Crooks, a character who does not receive much exposure to the audience in the three previous chapters. In this chapter, Lennie is left alone on the farm to walk around and do nearly anything. Oftentimes, we don’t see much freedom for Lennie because of the tight grip that George holds on him. By tight grip, I mean that George keeps him in check for the good of both of them.

    It is interesting to see the type of decisions Lennie will make by himself in these situations. Lennie visits Crooks, and Lennie talks about their secret farm very quickly. Crooks is interested in this plan, which is not good. Realistically, if you add more people to a perfect farm plan, everything will be ruined by greed because everyone will want their own perfect part. George, being aware of this, is naturally upset with Lennie for involving other people in their simple plan, especially in times where people are desperate.

    From that one situation, it had me realizing that George was not controlling Lennie. Instead, he is keeping Lennie in check. Previously, I believed that Lennie was brainwashed to a certain extent by George to do anything he asked. George even said that Lennie would jump off a cliff if instructed to. However, it’s now clear that George just wants to make sure Lennie doesn’t make any costly mistakes. Surely George would not have left Lennie alone if he didn’t trust him a little.

    I feel like my blogs are more and more like thematic essay topics, but that’s just how I like to make them. From this, it is clear that Steinbeck wants to show us that at times it may seem like people are trying to control us. They may tell us what to do and keep strict rules that we can not break ever. Parents do this most often, so imagine your parents in this situation. However, keeping strict rules does not mean they want to control you. Instead, they are trying to make sure you stay out of trouble and make smart choices. George forcing Lennie to follow his instructions is the same as your parents making you listen. A lesson learned is that we should be open to instruction and critique when the person may have our best interests in mind.

  18. Chapter 4 is on the more boring and uneventful side of Of Mice and Men. It begins with George and most of the rest of the hands going to the brothel. This sets up a scary situation for Lennie, as it has become more than obvious so far that he is dependent upon George. The main thing I would like to analyze is that this appears to be the only other mention of women. The first woman mentioned is a generic and pretty stupid house-wife who is pretty much the property and slave of her antsy, angry husband, who keeps her more as property to get into fights over. She is so ignored and abused, she dosen’t even get named once in the story. It has already been brought up in class how unappreciated women are, and the idea that Of Mice and Men is a symbolic comment on all of America. George knows Lennie needs his help. He knows full well that if he doesn’t help Lennie, Lennie will get himself killed. He, as a result keeps himself close to Lennie at all times. That makes his sudden leaving rather strange. What makes this a comment on America is the fact that George goes to a brothel over protecting Lennie. This could be Steinbeck pointing out how poisonous and addicting this sex business is. It points out that people begin making rash decisions and prioritize this temporary enjoyment over important things or people.

  19. Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality, no ego— nothing to arouse either like or dislike. He said, “Yes, ma’am,” and his voice was toneless. For a moment she stood over him as though waiting for him to move so that she could whip at him again; but Crooks sat perfectly still, his eyes averted, everything that might be hurt drawn in. She turned at last to the other two. Old Candy was watching her, fascinated. “If you was to do that, we’d tell,” he said quietly. “We’d tell about you framin’ Crooks.” “Tell an’ be damned,” she cried. “Nobody’d listen to you, an’ you know it. Nobody’d listen to you.” Candy subsided. “No . . . .” he agreed. “Nobody’d listen to us.”(Pgs 80-81)
    In our Discussion of Chapter Four in Of Mice and Men, I wanted to discuss Crooks, Lennie, Curley’s wife and power. Beginning with the way that Crooks is similar to Curley’s wife. Both of them in this scenario, are vastly outnumbered by the majorities on the ranch. Both of them also have a significant amount of power; Crooks knows his rights and Curley’s wife knows that she has the ability to play the victim and be able to exploit said role. In this scene, I have noticed that power is only power when there is someone less powerful, thus the label “Jailbait” has come about to describe Curley’s wife. I’ve also come to the question (Literally while typing Curley’s wife over and over again); Why does Curley’s wife have no mentioned name in the story? The best solution I could come up with for this is that she has no name so that we will notice and ask the question. The point of Curley’s wife lacking a name is to draw attention to itself so that the reader would be forced to continually notice that she’s already married and shouldn’t be flirting with the other men.

  20. In Chapter 4 of Of Mice And Men, I noticed that it contains the themes of loneliness, status, and reality. Crooks told Lennie about himself. He told Lennie of his old life, and how lonely he is now. Crooks says that without someone to talk to, you go crazy. Even Curley’s wife felt the same way. She said that she enjoyed talking to them because she felt lonely, and that she does not like the company of her husband. There was also a sense of status. I think that she feels inferior to the men as the only woman, so I believe that she likes to feel superior to Crooks. I also noticed that there is a similarity between Curley’s wife and Crooks. They both have their heads out of the clouds, probably from the fact that they seemed to have given up their dreams. Curley’s wife was left to be stuck on a ranch with a husband she loathes, and Crooks is left to himself, without much company. In conclusion, company and status affects your reality.

  21. Crooks said darkly, “Guys don’t come into a colored man’s room very much. Nobody been here but Slim. Slim an’ the boss.”
    Candy quickly changed the subject.

    This part of the fourth chapter of Of Mice and Men really stood out to me, for different reasons then what Abby talked about. Abby talked about Candy being uncomfortable about the boss, and he didn’t want to discuss the boss. I think however, that candy didn’t feel comfortable discussing the fact that he and the other men have separated Crooks because he is black. Candy may not be racist, and he didn’t like that all of the other men were discriminating against Crooks because he was black, and they left him to be alone in the shack. But i don’t think any of the men at the ranch were actually racist. I believe that Candy wasn’t comfortable with the racism on the ranch, and he felt like Crooks was personally accusing him of being racist, so he changed the subject.

  22. Chapter 4 in Of Mice and Men is one of my favorites because this is the scene where Lennie joins Crooks and sits down with him. Everyone else on the farm leaves Crooks alone because he is a black man and is treated as sort of an object. They always refer to him as “The N**ger” because he is the only african american, so that is just his title. Lennie is quite ignorant to racial inequality in this world. He probably rarely sees black people so he doesn’t understand the concept of black people being treated unfairly in society. “I was born right here in California. My old man had a chicken ranch, ‘bout ten acres. The white kids come to play at our place, an’ sometimes I went to play with them, and some of them was pretty nice. My ol’ man didn’t like that. I never knew till long later why he didn’t like that. But I know now.” He hesitated, and when he spoke again his voice was softer. “There wasn’t another colored family for miles around. And now there ain’t a colored man on this ranch an’ there’s jus’ one family in Soledad.” This quote shows that Crooks is the only black person in the town so he is completely alone. He relates to Lennie in the way that they are both the only ones like themselves on the ranch. Nobody understands how Lennie feels, and nobody understands how Crooks feels. If it was George or Curley or someone, Crooks wouldn’t have let him stayed. But I think Crooks is comfortable with Lennie, he knows Lennie won’t judge him and would just be there to talk. Crooks can actually speak his mind, which I doubt he has done before. I think that is an interesting discussion question that can have more than one answer: why did Crooks come out to Lennie about how he felt, which he never does to anyone else on the ranch. I know I already had an answer, but there are definitely more answers and discussions surrounding the idea.

  23. Something that really stands out to me on this chapter is lennies innocence and his lack of understanding prejudice against colored people. Lennie is often seen as child throughout this whole novel. A strong big child in fact. So it’s no wonder the actions he himself does are more harmful then what would happen if a kid did them. However we do see how truly innocent Lennie is compared to the world. Eventhough he has killed many things with his fingers, He still manages to lack the hate people back then had on blacks. As shown with crook Lennie is confused when Crook tells him that Crook is just a black man. Lennie see everyone as the same. A normal person. He doesn’t want to discuss about his race but about other things like puppy’s. He is portrayed to be almost a monster with his interactions yet he doesn’t hate anyone. Does Lennie see himself the same way as he sees everyone else?

  24. I would like to discuss the way people have changed because of the way they were treated in the past. Crooks, for example. He was mistreated for so many times in his life that he has become dejected and turned his back on society. His loneliness has consumed him, and that attention that was given to him in chapter 4. The way he has been treated before makes him desensitized, and his pain makes him feel as if the world has taken his liberty away, which the brutal human society has taken from him.

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