Quote: S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house 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, but then you got to read books. Books ain't no good. A guy needs somebody-to be near him. 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, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick (80).
Analysis: Crooks explains to Lennie the effects of loneliness. This passage highlights the need for companionship and the oppressive nature of Crooks' society. Although most of the men have no true friends, they at least get to play cards and associate with others. Lennie, because of the color of his skin and his friendship with George, cannot possibly understand Crooks' plight. George chooses to kill Lennie at the novel's end, realizing that Lennie could not stand the loneliness of being locked up in a prison or an asylum.
Quote: Whatever we ain't got, that's what you want... if I was alone I could live so easy. I could go get a job an' work, an no trouble. No mess at all, and when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks and go into town and get whatever I want (11-12).
Analysis: George chastises Lennie for asking for ketchup. He talks about all the things he could have if Lennie weren't around. Although true, these things that George extols as the good life are not as valuable as his friendship with Lennie; otherwise, he would have left him long ago.