January 28

“Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ want to go to no place like that.”

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

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Posted January 28, 2019 by equinson in category Of Mice and Men

27 thoughts on ““Jus’ foolin’. I wouldn’ want to go to no place like that.”

  1. Myles Ng

    In this section of the book you notice how much Lennie truly relies on George. When Crook asks him to imagine if George didn’t come back from his trip he almost starts to throw a fit in saying that George wouldn’t do that to him. When Crook keeps pressing him Lennie starts asking what if he didn’t come back and starts to say that he would hurt anyone who meant any harm against George. This just reinforces the type of relationship between George and Lennie. Also when Lennie talks about their plan to have their own farm he always says “George said…,” showing how much this leader/ follower relationship exists between Lennie and George.

  2. Kate Ma.

    In this chapter I’ve seen a different side of Lennie. When talking to Crooks, Lennie almost sticks up for himself without George’s guidance. Lennie is still the mentally challenged big man that we’ve seen but in this one specific scene I was surprised at Lennie’s actions. The book states, “Suddenly Lennie’s eyes centered and grew quiet, and mad. He stood up and 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.” This shows that Lennie doesn’t always need George’s constant demands. What shocked me is that Lennie sort of stood up for himself in this instance, but not when he was being attacked by Curely. I came to the conclusion that since Crooks was talking about George, it got Lennie upset to the point where he decided to frighten Crooks. I’m sure Lennie didn’t mean to scare Crooks he was just sticking up for George. Lennie won’t stick up for himself without guidance from George, but when it comes to George, Lennie would do anything to protect him. Maybe it’s like a parent bear. Lennie protects his “cub”, George. Instead of Lennie being the child maybe it’s the opposite?

  3. Casey

    This chapter only proves how strong of a relationship Lennie and George have. In this chapter, we meet Crooks, a black man who works as a stable-hand on the ranch. He has a crooked back which is how he gets his name. Lennie wanders into the stable where Crooks is forced to live. Lennie’s kind and outgoing personality prevents him from seeing that Crook is unhappy to see him in his home. Lennie starts to talk about his dream of having a farm and having rabbits. At first, Crook shuts him down and tells Lennie that he will never get that farm and that George will never come back, but realizes Lennie’s strength and backs down. Crook starts to say horrible things to scare Lennie, such as telling him that George was hurt and would never return. Lennie is quick to stand up and demand to know who hurt George and claimed that he would hurt whoever did it. Crook realizes what Lennie is willing to do for George and stops. The fact that Lennie would get so defensive and ready to attack someone shows how much he cares about George. Lennie needs George, and even though most of the time George is the one defending Lennie, Lennie will not hesitate if his friend is in danger.

  4. johnh1

    This chapter shows how dependant Lennie is on others and how he needs George. When he is thrown the hypothetical of if George would leave or get hurt he doesn’t like it and does not humor the idea. He is also dependant on other people. When Curley’s wife is being rude to them and is refusing to leave Lennie alone Crooks and Candy defend him. In a conversation, Lennie cannot defend his point and needs others to do it. I think that it might not be because of mental incapability but out of kindness and listening to George. When he’s fighting Curley he doesn’t just beat him immediately, he asks George for help. He holds George high above him even though he is very physically capable. He depends on others for everything. However, he does bring something to the table: his kindness. His good heart is constantly brought up and he shows everybody innocence and a way for people to talk to someone.

  5. Laila

    In tonights reading, I noticed a common theme of trust and doubt. We learn just how much Lennie trusts George and his plans. Clearly, Lennie is very reliant on George because George is the brains of the group. When Lennie tells Crooks his and George’s plans, Crooks immediately begins to doubt how much Lennie should actually trust George. Lennie quickly jumps to George’s defense saying, “But it ain’t no lie. Ever’ word’s the truth, an’ you can ast George.” Although it is nice to see how much Lennie trusts George, it is hard not to agree with Crooks. He is seeing this from a logical, unbiased point of view. So, Lennie and Crooks’ views on George seem to contradict one another: Lennie trust George and Crooks doubts him. At the end of the day, I believe Lennie should learn how to see things from a more realistic point of view so he doesn’t possibly get disappointed when George can’t keep his word.

  6. jaclynl

    In this section of “Of Mice and Men,” we are introduced to yet another character at the Ranch named Crooks. After Lennie meets him, Crooks begins to question what would happen if George were to not come back. Although this question was asked hypothetically, this is the first time that Lennie is able to fight for himself and stand up for his friend, going on and on about how George will always come back. Before this moment, it had been George that helped Lennie with everything. For example, in the last chapter, when Curley attacked Lennie, he kept begging for George to do something about it. This time around, though, George is not present in the situation, and it is up to Lennie to defend his friend. Personally, I do not think that Lennie has ever needed anyone to do anything for him. But since George was always there, it was assumed that he should have all the power in the friendship. Although Lennie is mentally challenged, this interaction with Crooks proves that he does not always need George’s help in everything he does. If he alone in a situation, he will be able to help himself just as well.

    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I do think that Lennie is capable of standing up for himself, but in some instances, I think did need the help of George. For example, when George carried Lennie’s working papers, and helped him get a job on the ranch.

  7. Emily

    In this reading we learn how much Lennie needs George. When Lennie is talking with Crooks, Crooks suggests the idea of George leaving Lennie. Even though it was just a hypothetical idea, Lennnie is on the verge of breaking down at just the idea of this. I found this scene interesting because earlier in the novel Lennie tests George by saying, “If you don’ want me I can go off in the hills an’ find a cave. I can go away any time.”(p. 12) I found it curious that in front of George, Lennie is trying to make it seem like he could be independent, but in reality he knows that he would be completely lost.

  8. jane

    In this reading, what stuck out to me was when Lennie and Candy began to discuss their plan to start up a ranch with George. This was important to me because when Candy got angry at Curley’s wife, he used the ranch plans to defend himself. He was saying that he would be able to live peacefully on a beautiful ranch, and that it didn’t matter what Curley’s wife thought of said. While reading this, I remembered George specifically saying to Candy and Lennie to be careful not to speak of the ranch plans to anyone else. But after seeing Candy tell Curley’s wife, I am beginning to wonder if this will effect their jobs. It is possible that Curley’s wife could snitch on them and get all three of them fired. Or she could use that information to blackmail them. Either way, it was not a smart decision to have told Curley’s wife about the special plans.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      This is a really interesting idea! I never thought of the fact that the men could get punished for having the idea of leaving the ranch and going to live on their own land somewhere else.

    2. MadiR

      I definitely think it was not a good decision to tell Curleys wife, as well. Especially because they can’t trust her.

  9. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout this section of Of Mice and Men, all of the workers are out in town except for Lennie, Candy, and Crooks. These three men were all in Crooks’ room (stable) when Curly’s wife walks in. At first she comes in asking where her husband is but the conversation escalated to a much deeper topic. This is the first time the reader hears Curly’s wife actually talk and have an in depth conversation with people. Based on what I read, she seems like a very sly, mischievous person. However, at the same time she does seem to be some-what intelligent. For example, she somehow knew that there was no way that her husband’s hand was demolished by a machiene and she was smart enough to put two and two together to figure out Lennie did it. The text states, “And she looked longest at Lennie, until he dropped his eyes in embarrassment. Suddenly she said, “Where’d you get them bruises on your face?”
    Lennie looked up guiltily. “Who—me?”
    “Yeah, you.”
    Lennie looked to Candy for help, and then he looked at his lap again. “He got
    his han’ caught in a machine,” he said.
    Curley’s wife laughed. “O.K., Machine. I’ll talk to you later. I like
    machines.” Curly’s wife used the bruises on Lennie’s face and the knowledge of her husband to figure out what happened. Another thing I noticed about Curly’s wife is that after she found out Lennie was the one who caused Curly’s hand to become ruined, she suddenly became some-what fond of him. However, just minutes before she call the three men “bindle stiffs”. Now, she seems to be flirting with Lennie by saying she might get some rabbits herself. Any chance that this woman gets she just wants to get someone to fall in this trap. Why else would she always be wandering around away from her husband? Curly’s wife obviously wants someone else instead of Curly.

  10. Mikayla Friedman

    In this chapter, we are introduced to Crooks, the African american stable buck. While reading this chapter, I noticed some similarities between Crooks and Lennie, particularly how they are treated and regarded by others. Crooks, being a crippled black man, is not included in anything that the other men do. He has his own room, which could be seen as a positive, but to him it isn’t. In a conversation with Lennie, Crooks says he isn’t wanted in the bunkhouse because “‘I’m [Crooks] black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, all of you stink to me.'” (p. 68) Crooks is left out of the group of men on the ranch, and he is fully aware of what he is missing. In a way, Lennie is also excluded. Yes, he does live in the bunkhouse, but he was not invited to go out with the guys. That is why he goes to Crooks’ room. I think the reason Crooks felt he could talk to Lennie is because he knew they were both in the same situation, left out by the rest. I think it is good that Crooks and Lennie talked, because it helped both of them emotionally. Crooks said “‘I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.'” (p. 73) On this night, Lennie and Crooks were both a little bit less lonely.

  11. Hannah Pitkofsky

    In this chapter, we see how dependant Lennie is on George and on those around him. We meet Crooks, a black stable worker on the ranch. As the chapter progresses, we see Lennie rely on more people for various reasons and we see one of the reasons George has changed Lennie. Lennie has become used to receiving help from George at a moment’s notice, but that does not always apply to other people, including Slim and Crooks. Lennie requires more assistance from the characters in this chapter than what we have seen in past chapters. This shows the negative effect a relationship that George and Lennie have (father/son; pet/owner; servant/master; etc.) might be dangerous for Lennie or maybe even George.

  12. MadiR

    In this chapter, Lennie has a conversation with Crooks the stable-hand at the ranch. In Crooks’ living quarters he admits to being lonely. “S’pose you didn’t have nobody…A guy needs somebody-to be near him.”(p. 72) This is the same loneliness that George describes in the beginning of the book. Crooks can’t go in the bunkers or even play a game of cards with the men because he is black. The author probably gives him the name Crooks because of his crooked back. Loneliness could be a motif or a theme in the book because the characters mention of or are lonely in several occasions.

    1. trinityt

      I agreed with how you said that loneliness could be a motif or a theme in this book since it has been repeated often.

      1. Zoe

        Loneliness has definitely been an important theme, especially since it seems like that is why George keeps Lenny around and why their big dream exists and even why they welcomed Candy into their dream property so quickly.

  13. Brishti Sarkar

    In tonight’s reading, I noticed how the motif of partnership was explored. Lennie spends the chapter with Crooks, an african-american stable buck. Crooks is an outcast who spends his hours alone reading in his isolated shack. This has caused him severe lonliness, which has turned him into a hostile person. One of the things which he does is that he tricks Lennie into thinking that George has abandoned him and will never come back. Lennie shows disbeleif, thinking that this could never be true. This shows how Lennie trusts George enough to know how he will always come back for him. Another instance that portrays this motif is when Crooks talks about how lonely he is. Several characters in the book have shown amazement to the fack that George and Lennie travel as a pair. In this chapter, Crooks explains that “A guy needs somebody-to be near him.” Unlike Crooks, George and Lennie have a relationship which allows them to trust upon one another. Moreover, it can be concluded from this chapter that the reason George keeps Lennie around is because he actually wants him. Several times, he talks of how he would get along better if he did not have Lennie. But that wouldn’t be true, because he would still be lonely, with nobody to talk to. Even if Lennie does not understand what George tells him, it is enough for George to have a pair of ears to confide in.

  14. Sophie

    “Guy don’t need no sense to be a nice fella. Seems to me sometimes it jus’ works the other way around. Take a real smart guy and he ain’t hardly ever a nice fella.”

    This quote from Slim was first said in last nights reading, but the theme came up again tonight. It reoccurred during Lennie and Crook’s argument – that Lennie is not smart but has a good heart, while on the other hand Crooks seems very guileful but has not shown any sense of goodness yet. The reason I say that Crooks is sly and intelligent is because he recognized Lennie’s slow mental ability and was able to twist Lennie’s mind and trick him. Crook has very rudely gotten the notion in Lennie’s brain that George would not come back. You see, Crook and Lennie have not known each other for very long. The ability that Crook had to recognize Lennie’s slowness and dependence for George is very impressive, yet also worrisome in the sense that we don’t know what else Crook could do to Lennie.

    On the contrary to Crook, Lennie has a wonderful heart. The whole reason that the two men are speaking with each other is because Lennie came to look for his puppy and saw Crook’s lights on. Lennie must have seen that Crook is all alone, and cared to sit and speak with him. “Well, what do you want?”
    “Nothing—I seen your light. I thought I could jus’ come in an’ set.”
    Lennie than sat with Crooks and listened to Crook tell his childhood stories. During those times, not many white people would have taken the time to sit and listen to a black man who seems sad. This shows great thoughtfulness in Lennie that is worth more than any amount of intelligence.
    I wonder why Crook felt the need to bring Lennie down like this. The posing of Georges disappearance really upset Lennie, and was not nice at all. Maybe Crook could feel jealous or intimidated by Lennie’s kindness. If that is the case, than I guess Crooks way of making himself feel better is by using his own strengths to bring him down.

  15. Zoe

    In this chapter, the most important thing that stuck out to me was Crooks and his way of thinking about Lennie, Candy, and George’s dream. Instead of becoming engulfed in the idea and thinking of the beauty of the land, Crooks sees the negative side and speaks of how their dream is only in their head. He says that he has seen many men the same way, but all have just moved on to the next ranch and have never seen their dreams come true; that it’s really only in their head. Although he truly believes this, as he slowly invites Candy and Lennie into his room and bends the barriers between their race, he begins to think of himself possibly helping out or doing odd jobs on the farm, just as Candy had thought of when George and Lennie spoke of it. Just as fast he had gotten used to the men now in his room, he was attacked by Curley’s wife and slowly shrank back and then once again separated him and Lennie and Candy. This again could possibly go with what he said earlier, about being all in his head. Although these barriers between races exist, with Lennie and Candy it doesn’t, and just as he had based their dreams to be nonexistent on others who’s been, he’s basing this situation on past relationships with people of a different race. In a way, the separation between all the men who are friendly to him on the ranch and in his room is only in his head, especially to Lennie who thought nothing different of him. This was definitely an interesting chapter, and I hope Crooks changes his mind about the land in the near future.

  16. maxwellw

    In Chapter Four, the contrast between the communal George and the more individualistic farmhands becomes still more marked. Indeed, as Crooks, Candy and Lennie – the three mentally or physically impaired “outcasts” of the farm – discuss their dream of living “of the fat of the land” one can sense a strong whiff of their yearning for their own slice of luxury. For a moment, they imagine a life of freedom from prejudice and racism, in which each man works for “just his keep” regardless of color or disability (84). It’s fitting that the three virtual servants of the farm – the black man, the swamper, and the mentally disabled workhorse – collaborate in this dream.

  17. trinityt

    In this chapter, we continued to look more into George’s and Lennie’s friendship/relationship. In previous chapters, George has been defending Lennie in certain scenarios. During this chapter, Lennie defended George when Crooks said something about George that Lennie doesn’t like. “Lennie growled back to his seat on the nail keg.’Ain’t nobody goin’ to talk no hurt to George,’ he grumbled.” (p.72). Lennie is a good and loyal friend to George, although their friendship isn’t like the ordinary. George defending Lennie, and Lennie defending George, shows that even though sometimes George is mean to Lennie, they both still care about each other.

  18. stephaniec

    In this chapter of Of Mice and Men, we got to know more about Crooks, the black stable man. He lives by himself because he is the only black man on the whole ranch. During this chapter, we can start to develop a theme of loneliness. As Crooks talks to Lennie, he mentions how he is all by his lonesome. For example, “S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ’cause you was black. How’d you like that?… A guy needs somebody to be near him.”(p.72). Although Crooks knows his place on the ranch and continues to obey the “rules of the ranch”, without anyone to talk to, he ofter feels lonely.

  19. angelicac1

    In this chapter of Of Mice and Men, similarities between Lennie and Crooks can be found. Both men are treated differently than all the other men. Crooks is an African American man and Lennie is a big man that is both childish and dangerous. Both of these men are both disclosed from the group because of their differences which is why I believe they share many similarities with each other.


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