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Of Mice and Men: Theme of Loneliness Essay

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Loneliness is a dominant theme in “Of Mice and Men”. Most of the characters are lonely and searching for someone who can serve as a companion or just as an audience. In this novel, Steinbeck depicts the essential loneliness of California ranch life in the 1930’s. He illustrates how people are driven to find companionship. Throughout the book we are introduced to characters who have no name, this implies they are not important enough to people to call them by their names.

Curley’s wife is known as Curley’s wife because nobody wants anything to do with her. Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody, I get awful lonely. ” Curley’s wife admits she is lonely on a ranch full of men and has nobody to vent to. The Boss is only ever mentioned once throughout the whole book so Steinbeck didn’t make him important enough to actually give him a name. George and Lennie are the best of friends. They travel around together, although I think George gets lonely sometimes because even though Lennie is with him, George cannot have a proper conversation with Lennie`or talk to him about how he feels because Lennie won’t understand.

George gets frustrated at Lennie very easily because when George tells Lennie something, it doesn’t sink into Lennies brain, therefore he forgets almost everything George tells him, Lennie also forgets right from wrong. Lennie is described as a dort of pet of George, like he is George’s property. When Lennie and George arrive at the ranch, George makes a real friend, Slim. Slim acts as an audience for George and he confides in Slim about the Weed incident and how hatd it is to care for Lennie. Candy was never lonely because he always had his dog as a companion.

Candy had the dig since he was a pup and he used to herd sheep with him. Although because the dog was very old and smelly, Carlson persuaded Candy to let him shoot the dog because ” He ain’t no good to you, Candy. An’ he ain’t no good to himself. Why’n’t you shoot him, Candy? ” Candy obviously doesn’t want his old dog dead because then he would have no one. Candy tries the best he can to avoid the conversation but Carlson doesn’t relent and eventually shoots the dog. Candy is distraught about this because he now has nobody.

Candy listens into George and Lennies dream about owning their own farm and immediately offers his money and help, he is already thriving for friendship and the need to feel wanted. Candy is eager to leave the ranch, ” S’pose I went in with you guys. Tha’s three hundred an’ fifty bucks I’d put in. I ain’t much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How’d that be? ” George doesn’t take Candy up on his offer immediately but eventually he does because he pittys him and with Candy’s money, they can achieve the goal of owning their own land much faster.

Crooks is the most lonely person in the novel. Crooks is the stable buck and also a nigger. He was isolated just because the colour of his skin. Crooks dreams to be included and to be able to go and set in the bunkhouse with the other men and to play cards with them and have a good time, but the colour of his skin prevents him from doing this. Crooks works in fear on the ranch. One night, Lennie went over to visit Crooks in his bunk, at first Crooks attempted to turn him away by proving a point that he isn’t wanted. “You go on and get outta my room.

I ain’t wanted in the bunk house, and you ain’t wanted in my room. ” Lennie ignores this and comes in anyway. Eventually Crooks begins to confide in Lennie on how lonely he is but Lennie isn’t listening. Crooks doesn’t care though because Lennie’s presence in the room gives Crooks a sense of belonging. Candy then joins the two in Crook’s room and they discuss the dream farm until an unwelcome Curley’s wife comes “looking” for her husband. Crooks points out very clearly that he doesn’t want her in the room but Curley’s wife takes it the wrong way and threatens Crooks. You know what I could do? I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny. “

Crooks is terrified and he reduced himeslef to nothing. Pretending he didn’t exist. When Lennie and Curley’s wife meet in the barn, Lennie at first ignores her remembering George’s instructuions to but Curley’s wife persuades him to talk to her, and she eventually confides in him telling him about how lonely she is and how she could have been famous. “An’ a guy told me he could put me in pitchers… Talking about her dream made her “breatheless with indignation. ” Lennie doesn’t really listen to what she is saying, he is more worried about the fact that he accidently killed his puppy and George might not let him tend the rabbits. Although Curley’s wife doesn’t care. She admits that she hated Curley and that she only married him to spite her mother. This proves she is lonely because she is married to a man who she doesn’t love. She has nobody on that ranch to care for her or to listen to her and help her achieve her dreams.

When the men on the ranch discover Curley’s wifes body lying in the barn beside the dead puppy, they knew straight away it was Lennie. George knew where Lennie was and he also knew that if he didn’t get to him quick, Curley would kill him slowly, painfully. George knew it had to be him to kill Lennie otherwise Lennie would be afraid and in pain. George calmed him down by telling him about the rabbits before he shot him. Shooting him was the hardest thing George had to do.

When he shot Lennie his hand trembeled and he threw the gun away. Candy was waiting in the barn with the body. He knew the dream was wrecked. He blamed Curley’s wife. He shouted at he dead body. He was furious. “You God damn tramp, you done it di’n’t you? I s’pose you’re glad. Everybody knowed you’d mess things up. You wasn’t no good. You ain’t no good now, you lousy tart. ” Candy released all his anger by screaming at this limp dead body lying there, he was so angry because now that she was dead, the dream was not going to come true.