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Candy talks to Lennie about raising rabbits on the farm.
Like Candy, a physical disability sets him apart from the other workers, and makes him worry that he will soon wear out his usefulness on the ranch.
Crooks’s isolation is compounded by the fact that, as a black man, he is relegated to sleep in a room in the stables; he is not allowed in the white ranch-hands’ quarters and not invited to play cards or visit brothels with them.
Lennie, who has been in the barn tending to his puppy, appears in the doorway, looking for company.
Crooks tells him to go away, saying that if he, as a black man, is not allowed in the white quarters, then white men are not allowed in his. He innocently reports 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.
” Crooks hastily backs down, promising that George will come back, and begins to talk about his childhood again, which returns Lennie to his dreams of owning the farm.