Battle Of Loneliness

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The Internal Battle of Loneliness Loneliness is a significant theme in John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men because this specific feeling is the motive behind Crook’s pessimistic nature, Candy’s determination to keep his old dog around, and Curley’s wife’s unfaithful behavior. All three of these characters have more to them than meets the eye, and Steinbeck shows this through the theme of loneliness. So many people mistreat Crook because of his skin tone, that Crook has no hope left of ever reaching his American Dream. Candy is so old and fears that one day nobody will need him anymore, which is why he keeps his dog around for company. Curley’s wife never wanted to marry Curly and when she does, everyone expects her to just stay at the…show more content…
Once Slim tells George about Curley’s wife, and how she is always eyeing the men, George feels nothing but hostility towards her, calling her a tart. He warns Lennie about her, telling him to “keep away from her, ‘cause she’s a rat-trap...” (Steinbeck 32). George does not really know anything about Curley’s wife, but he just makes assumptions based on what he sees and what people tell him. He has a premonition that something will happen if Lennie does not stay away from Curly’s wife, which Steinbeck uses to foreshadow events to come in his novella. Not only does George judge Curly’s wife for what kind of person she appears to be, but in a way, Curly himself does, too. When Curly cannot find his wife and Slim just happens to be missing too, Curly immediately jumps to conclusions and assumes his wife is with Slim. When Curly hears that Slim went out in the barn, Curly “jump[s] out the door and bang[s] it after him” (Steinbeck 54). Curly does not stop to consider that it might just be a coincidence, and that his wife and Slim could just be in different locations, not with each other. Subconsciously, Curly thinks his wife is a cheater, too, and is just unable to admit it to himself for fear that the realization would tip the scale and change everything. In reality, Steinbeck never proves that Curly’s wife is a cheater; he only shows situations that could be interpreted many different ways. Both George and Curly judge Curly’s wife because of appearances, rumors, and situations that are purely coincidental, as well as all the other men at the barn. Similarly to Curly’s wife’s situation, the men judge Crook because of his appearance, also, although on a different
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