“Crooks stood up from his bunk and faced her. "I had enough," he said coldly. "You got no rights comin' in a colored man's room. You got no rights messing around in here at all. Now you jus' get out, an' get out quick. If you don't, I'm gonna ast the boss not to ever let you come in the barn no more."
She turned on him in scorn. "Listen, Nigger," she said. "You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?"
Crooks stared helplessly at her, and then he sat down on his bunk and drew into himself.
She closed on him. "You know what I could do?"
Crooks seemed to grow smaller, and he pressed himself against the wall. "Yes, ma'am."
"Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny."
Crooks had reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality, no ego--nothing to arouse either like or dislike. He said, "Yes, ma'am," and his voice was toneless.
For a moment she stood over him as though waiting for him to move so that she could whip at him again; but Crooks sat perfectly still, his eyes averted, everything that might be hurt drawn in. She turned at last to the other two.”
― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
Crooks is undoubtedly lonely. But let me sketch the context to make this point.
One of the most notable points in the whole book is that everyone is alone. This is what separates Lennie and George from others. Right from the beginning of the book, Slim makes this point.
Slim looked through George and beyond him. “Ain’t many guys travel around together,” he mused. “I don’t know why. Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”
Within the ranch, this sense of alienation is pervasive. The one who is most alienated is Crooks. This is because he is a black man in a white world.
Crooks has been on the ranch for a long time, but he does not have a relationship at all with anyone. For example, no one visits him. When Lennie comes to visit him, he make this point.
Crooks said darkly, “Guys don’t come into a colored man’s room very much. Nobody been here but Slim. Slim an’ the boss.”
As he talks with Lennie, he shares his loneliness with him. He says that he is going crazy, because he has no one to talk to. Here is what Crooks confesses:
A guy needs somebody—to be near him.” He whined, “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,” he cried, “I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.”