The Theme Of Loneliness In Of Mice And Men

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“Of Mice and Men” written by John Steinbeck, is set in the 1930’s during the Great Depression in California. George and Lennie are the two protagonist characters; they are farm workers who have a dream of one day owning their own ranch. They find work in a ranch near Soledad and are met by different characters, most of which are lonely, with only their dreams keeping them alive. Loneliness is the unpleasant emotional response to isolation and lack of companionship, in the novel “Of Mice and Men” Steinbeck portrays the theme of loneliness and isolation effectively through key fictional characters, and the themes in the book will be described throughout this essay.
Through several characters, another aspect of loneliness is uncovered vulnerably.
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His dog is his company and equivalent of a friend, “I had ‘im since he was a pup.” The other men, all loners and migrant workers, cannot understand the idea of friendship and simply want the dog shot because it is no longer useful and is a nuisance in the bunkhouse. They do not recognize, nor sympathise with, Candy’s affection for the dog as he pleads with them to let the subject drop, “I’m so used to him” and “he was the best damn sheepdog I ever seen.” He offers his money to George and Lennie to buy the property because “I ain’t got no relatives nor nothing.” He knows that his future is more loneliness and then death, “They’ll can ne purty soon...I won’t have no place to go to.” When Crooks sneers at the idea of owning their place, his answer shows the comfort he gains from his new friends and the end to loneliness, “we gonna do it…Me and Lennie and George.” The importance of friendship and the self-esteem it now gives to him is also shown in the he answers back to Curley’s wife when she insults him and Crooks and Lennie, “We got fren’s, that what we got.” Seeing the collapse of his dream, he takes out his anger on Curley’s wife’s corpse, “You wasn’t no good… I could of hoed the garden and washed dishes for them guys” but now there is only his lonely old…show more content…
Though, their first portrayals bring their hierarchy, as Steinbeck’s descriptions were that “the first man was small and quick” with “sharp, strong features”, meaning that he is the dominant character in the relationship. Lennie juxtaposes with this as he is described as “a huge man, shapeless face”, implying his features being unbalanced and unsure of himself. Due to this, when entering the ranch, they were both split into two conflicting atmospheres, George “went into town” with the ranchmen and Lennie went into “a little shed”, showing how George is not afraid of the world, whilst Lennie is alone and vulnerable and because of his disability he might never escape it. They are different from the other ranch hands, “we got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us” because they have each other. George enjoys the dream of the two friends owning land together as much as Lennie “An’ if a fren’ come along…we’d say “why don’t you spen’ the night?” George tells Slim, “II seen the guys that go around the ranches alone. That ain’t no good”, revealing that he benefits by avoiding their loneliness. He says that he and Lennie “got kinda used to each other” and “it’s nicer to go around with a guy you know.” Also telling Slim how he once used Lennie for fun but he learned his lesson after an incident and “I ain’t done nothing like that no more.” He
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