Is Isolation Ever for the Better? John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men contains a multitude of themes through which Steinbeck shows his disgust with society. This story was written during The Great Depression and the American society was struggling to survive. People thought that by isolating themselves, they could protect people they love. Steinbeck portrays this hardship through several characters throughout the book. Three characters in particular stand out as isolated. Crooks, the only black man; Curley’s wife, who is the only woman on the farm and never named; and Candy, an old man who cannot work efficiently. These three people are symbols of the American lifestyle during this time period. Out of all the characters, Crooks is the most isolated in this novella. He is segregated because of the color of his skin. He lives all by himself in the barn, which is away from the bunkhouse. Crooks pretends …show more content…
Candy is an old man who is confined by his age and cannot do any real work. He cannot leave the farm because he does not have enough money to survive on his own. Steinbeck described Candy by writing, “Old Candy, the swamper, came in and went to his bunk, and behind him struggled his old dog,” (Page 43). The only thing that kept Candy company was his dog. His dog was too old to be any use, just like Candy himself, so he was shot by Carlson. This broke Candy’s heart, along with any of his spirit he had left. Candy was the only old person on the farm, besides his dog. Now that is dog was gone, Candy was totally isolated. Nonetheless, Candy was given some hope by George and Lennie, who told Candy he could be part of their farm. Candy was interacting and getting along with these two men, and had a flame reignited in his life and willpower. When Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife, Candy instantly knew there would be no farm. Candy lost all will to live after this moment because he had nothing, and no one, to go
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It is evident that Candy and his dog show similar traits; by both of them being old, not able to work how they used to, and not really needed on the ranch. Candy isn’t able to put in the amount of work that he wishes he could, and his dog can’t be the excellent sheepdog he used to be because he is much older now. Candy’s dog represents Candy through all the traits they share. This adds development to Candy’s character because when he chooses that it is best for his dog to go, life on the ranch remains the same after and this causes Candy to worry more about himself because he feels the same thing would happen if he were to
Candy losing his dog affected him poorly to the point where he even wished they had shot him. Candy feels almost worthless after losing his dog because his dog is his only natural companion. Besides That dog, Candy has no companion leaving him lonely and grieving for his lost companion. The joy Candy once felt was
In the novella “Of Mice and Men”' written by John Stienbeck, Steinbeck uses the characterization of two characters, Crooks a stablehand, and Candy another ranch worker, along with the internal conflicts that the two men experience to express the idea that isolation can have negative effects on people. These elements helped to add depth and substance to the novella. Steinbeck's characterization of Crooks lets his viewers understand him and his turmoil better. Crooks was a black stablehand who worked on a ranch in California. He had an old back injury from a horse kick that left him crippled and prevented him from ever leaving the ranch.
Often in life people are lonely. In the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck there are two characters in the story that are lonely. They are also considered outsiders in the book. These characters in the story are not accepted in the book because they don't have friends on the farm. You could tell they’re lonely because no one wants to talk to them or help them.
Steinbeck portrays the intense loneliness through his character Crooks who was shunned because of his skin color and had to avoid the others on the ranch because of how they treated him. Not only was he loathed for his skin color, but he also had to deal with disability so his life was very difficult from the start. “if Crooks is not essential to the story's plot, he is crucial for elaborating the story's theme” (Johnson). This clarifies the fact the Crooks did not place a huge part to the story but he is crucial to understanding the time period this story takes place in. John Steinbeck uses Crooks to display the racism that an African American would have to cope with.
In this chapter, the gloom is relieved by the hopeful planning of the three men — George, Lennie, and Candy — toward their dream. For the first time in his life, George believes the dream can come true with Candy's down payment. He knows of a farm they can buy, and the readers' hopes are lifted as well, as the men plan, in detail, how they will buy the ranch and what they will do once it is theirs. But while Steinbeck includes this story of hope, the preponderance of the chapter is dark. Both the shooting of Candy's dog and the smashing of Curley's hand foreshadow that the men will not be able to realize their
Some of the characters in the book have been described as more isolated and lonely than the other character, with the ones in particular ; Crooks, Candy and Curley’s Wife. Crooks is lonely because he is black and has a crooked back which is physically isolating him, Candy is lonely because he is old and only has one hand, Curley’s Wife is lonely because she is the only woman on the ranch. All the people living on the ranch are lonely to some extent. This is proven when Steinbeck describes the bunkhouse where all the workers sleep. " Over each bunk there was nailed an apple box with the opening forward so that it made two shelves for personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk."
Candy lost his right hand in a ranch accident, which is why the owners “give me a job swampin’” as he says (Steinbeck 59). He believes he will that he will be “can[ned] purty soon,” so he wants to go with George and Lennie (Steinbeck 60). When Carlson wants to shoot Candy’s dog, Candy does not want him to. He says “No, I couldn’... I had ‘im too long” and “I had him from a pup” (Steinbeck 45).
While Crooks, a victim of racial prejudice, expresses his isolation openly, he also socializes with other workers on the job and while playing horseshoes with them. Curley’s wife, on the other hand, cannot talk to anyone without suffering the consequences of a jealous husband: “ I get so lonely,’ she said. “you can talk to people , but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?”
Steinbeck displays through the dialogue and characterizations that these characters experience isolation because of both social barriers and personal choice. Crooks being an African-American on the ranch, full of whites, struggles racially which causes his withdrawal from the society. Crooks explains to Lennie his when he’s accompanied by him “ A guy goes nuts if he ain 't got nobody. Don 't make no difference who the guy is long’s
They were seen as useless and as extra mouths to feed. Candy faces the endless fear that the boss will fire him once he loses his worth on the farm. Candy’s fears are portrayed when Carlson shoots his old dog because the dog is too old to be of use. He tells Lennie
Candy and his companion are both aging, crippled, and about to outlive their physical usefulness. When Candy’s dog was youthful he was an amazing sheepdog and therefore of great use to all around him. The idea that a disability is a large hindrance in this community relates to Candy because when he was young he had a lot of purpose on the ranch but after he lost arm in an accident his credibility deteriorated. He knows he will soon be "canned," especially when Slim says “I wish somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple"(Steinbeck 66). The dog dies and Candy's beliefs are almost confirmed.
Steinbeck states in the novel, “You seen what they done to my dog tonight?”(60). An example of Candy telling George and Lennie his problems. Candy still feels upset over his dog death by Carlson. But by using that excuse he got George to agree with him, to let him live in the ranch once they earn enough money. With Candy’s help with George and Lennie’s dream, it is easier and now faster for the three of them to get their ranch.
Steinbeck’s characterization and setting expresses his belief that it is both social barriers and personal choice that causes the loneliness and isolation of the characters. Civil rights caused separation and isolation towards black people when Of Mice and Men took place. As Crooks mention himself “Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I 'm black.
As candy wanted his companion to be with him at the end, as did george for lennie. Candy represents the old person who isn´t needed anymore, which is an inevitable outcome. As someday , you will grow incompetent of fulfilling demands, or needs, and will be let go. I determined this through his actions, quotes, symbolism, and foreshadowing. Candy is one of the most important characters to understand, as he is representative of