Steinbeck exposes the racism that was prevalent at that time in America through the character of Crooks, a sentimental, proud and aloof black man and sadly known as the 'nigger'. He has a very realistic way at looking at the dream maybe as he sees the dream as a way of escaping but knows that there is no way and so speaks of the realization which fills him with pessimism. Yet gets caught up in optimism, and begins to link the dream with heaven in a way saying happiness is not possible on earth. He is an outcast due to his colour and therefore has to wait outside the bunkhouse and call all the other white men formal names. Therefore he is very protective of others entering his room of solitude where he has now one but himself.
Furthermore Crooks is somewhat a vulnerable character and Curley's wife is vicious towards him 'strung up on a tree so easy' she too has suffered much negligence she reminisces back, ironically, to her dream of becoming a movie star 'could have been in the pictures' but was forced into marrying curly, where then she no longer could portray her dream.
Crooks in a way desires company and love and affection and admits he longs for a companion 'a guy needs somebody' therefore allows lennie into his bunkhouse, also the fact that Crooks maybe feels lennie is more vulnerable than he is.
Lennie is the only one who really accepts Crooks as an equal human being. Steinbeck shows how powerless and lacking in value Crooks is written in the novel, at one point Crooks provided entertainment for Christmas 'they let the nigger come in one night', they also made him fight ' the guys wouldn't let him use his legs on account of...