Having just admitted his own vulnerabilities—he is a black man with a crooked back who longs for companionship—Crooks zeroes in on Lennie’s own weaknesses.
In scenes such as this one, Steinbeck records a profound human truth: oppression does not come only from the hands of the strong or the powerful.
In sharing his vision of what it means to be human, Steinbeck touches on several themes: the nature of dreams, the nature of loneliness, man's propensity for cruelty, powerlessness and economic injustices, and the uncertainty of the future.
Nature of Dreams In essence, is as much a story about the nature of human dreams and aspirations and the forces that work against them as it is the story of two men.
Having and sharing the dream, however, are not enough to bring it to fruition.
Each man must make a sacrifice or battle some other force that seeks, intentionally or not, to steal the dream away.
Each desires the comfort of a friend, but will settle for the attentive ear of a stranger.
Curley’s wife admits to Candy, Crooks, and Lennie that she is unhappily married, and Crooks tells Lennie that life is no good without a companion to turn to in times of confusion and need.
Humans give meaning to their lives — and to their futures — by creating dreams.
Without dreams and goals, life is an endless stream of days that have little connection or meaning.