How does Steinbeck present the themes of loneliness and isolation in the novel?
In the novel “Of Mice and Men”, John Steinbeck highlight the effects of loneliness and isolation which arose from extreme discrimination that was prominent in the Great Depression. George says,
“I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain't no good. They don't have no fun. After a long time they get mean.”
(Pg. 41) We need companions to give our life meaning. This essay will discuss the characters of Lennie, Curley’s Wife and Crooks. The first character affected by loneliness and isolation is Lennie because of his mental disability. George states from early on that ranch hands are the loneliest
“Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world”
(Pg. 15). When Crooks teases Lennie about George leaving him, it reveals that Lennie is dependent on George being his companion,
“George wun’t go away and leave me. I know George wun’t do that”
(Pg. 73). In spite of this, George disassociates himself sometimes when Lennie looks to him for support,
“I don't want no fights," said Lennie. He got up from his bunk and sat down at the table, across from George. Almost automatically George shuffled the cards and laid out his solitaire hand. He used a deliberate, thoughtful, slowness.”
(Pg. 55). Lennie’s desire to pet soft objects like mice comes from his need of a friend when George isn’t there for him.
“I could pet it with my thumb as we walked along”
(Pg. 7). People treat him like a child and he is not included in any conversations or activities. This makes Lennie feel lonely and isolated despite having the friendship of George. However, he is less lonely than others because he is unable to comprehend that people are treating him badly. The second character affected by loneliness and isolation is Curley’s wife because of her gender.
“I never get to talk to nobody but Curley”
“I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella”
(Pg. 87). Most men on the ranch refuse to talk with her because Curley had forbidden them to. Yet her husband, Curley, hardly talks to her and treats her atrociously. It also shows us that she is lonely as she confides her private affairs with strangers, even Lennie who is unable to comprehend what she tells
Loneliness in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay
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There is only one thing in life that is really needed and that is friends. Without friends, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude. Loneliness leads to low self-estee. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, the characters, Crooks, Candy, and Curly’s wife all show some form of loneliness. They are curious of George and Lennie’s friendship because they do not have that support in their life. Through his novel, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck demonstrates that many times, a victim of loneliness will have a never-ending search to fulfill a friendship.
"A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t matter no difference who the guy is, longs he with you. I tell ya a guy gets too…show more content…
They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m Black.
They say I stink. Well I tell you, you all stink to me!" (Steinbeck, 75)
Nobody likes to be forced to live in a barn, let alone to work only with the horses. Crooks spent most of his nights reading and he keeps away from others because of the way he is treated and this eventually leads to his very own emotional downfall. He is treated as an outcast and is forced to find friendship the only way he can, through the books that he reads. The Counseling Center of the University of Buffalo said that: "When you are alone, use the time to enjoy yourself. For example, listen to music or watch a favorite television show. Do not spend the time eating endlessly or worrying about your problems." Obviously Crooks is aware of his problem and tries to cope with it through books and magazines.
Crooks is fascinated by the strength of the friendship of Lennie and George especially how close they are. Crooks said, "Well, s’pose, jus’ s’pose he don’t come back. What’ll you do then?" (Steinbeck, 79) Crooks asks these questions because he does not have any friends. He was curious about the friendship of Lennie and George. He wants the people to feel the way that he did when he was lonely, having nobody with them. He is striving to achieve sympathy and understanding from others. Crooks would work for