Of Mice And Men Solitude Analysis

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Among the many potions and pills mankind has conjured up to defeat solitude and loneliness, companionship has proven through and through to be the most effective. Even through endless strife, companionship is really the only guaranteed happiness. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck addresses loneliness, apartness and the importance of man's commitment to man through the laborers of 1930's California. Steinbeck uses these laborers to describe solitude, the fruits of friendship and the importance of commitment to each other. The importance and need of togetherness in mankind plays an elusive, but vital role in the novel as it subtly appears time and time again.
The characters of Of Mice and Men have all felt loneliness to a certain extent. Steinbeck
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Entering the lonely town of Soledad, which literally translates to 'solitude', George and Lennie have a mutual dream and a friendship which immediately sets them apart from the other characters. For instance, when George and Lennie confront Curley's father for him to let them work, he asks, "I said what stake you got in this guy? You taking his pay away from him" (Steinbeck 22)? With this question in the air, it's easy for the reader to assume that Curley's father cannot even fathom any reason as to why two men would stay together in those times other than for one to take advantage of the other. This relationship between George and Lennie is also compared to that of Cain and Abel's, "Cain's question is the question again at the heart of the novel: "Am I my brother's keeper"" (Owens 146)? But the difference in these two stories is that George remains Lennie's brother, his best friend, even through the act of killing him to keep him safe, but Cain did the same out of hate, not love for his…show more content…
This new friendship occurring after George kills Lennie, symbolizes that commitment to each other holds more importance than their vision of the American Dream. Near the end of the novel, when the others find George after he killed Lennie, "Slim came directly to George and sat down beside him, sat very close to him" (Steinbeck 107). At this point, Steinbeck uses Slim and his closeness to George to illustrate the idea that even though the dream is dead, what is left over is friendship; the commitment to man. This idea is reinforced and stated, "It should be noted that this novel about man's loneliness and "apartness" began with two men--George and Lennie--climbing down the pool from the highway and that the novel ends with two men--George and Slim--climbing back up from the pool to the highway"(Owens 149). The novel completes a full circle as it ends in the same manner as it begins. From this, a new dream can be realized and the story can continue and start the cycle all over again.
The central idea presented, man's unflinching commitment towards each other, is seen to be of thematic significance throughout John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men. In which Steinbeck uses migrant workers of The Great Depression to address loneliness, friendship and the importance of unity. The novel achieves this through the relationships between characters like Lennie,
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