The Theme Of Isolation In Of Mice And Men

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“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, is set in California in the 1930s during the Great Depression. George and Lennie, farm workers with the dream of owning their own ranch, are the protagonists. They find work in a ranch near Soledad and are met by different characters suffering from loneliness, motivated only by their dreams. In the novel, “Of Mice and Men”. Steinbeck portrays the theme of loneliness and isolation effectively through key fictional characters and a number of underlying themes.
The setting for the story is “Soledad” which is Spanish for loneliness; this gives readers connotations of a depressing and remote environment in which the itinerant farmers live. There is mention of the men going “into town” and Curley going to a doctor when his hand is smashed but there is no socialisation with anyone from outside of the ranch. All of the workers are nomadic and solitary, the man who used George’s bed before him “just quit, the way a guy will...just wanted to move.” This suggests that not many characters are settled. The men on the ranch are all passing through
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Steinbeck displays Crook’s isolation by describing how he lives alone in a “little shed,” excluded from the companionship in the bunkhouse. Crook’s possessions include many books that he reads instead of having company. “Crooks was a proud, distant man” because he has no choice but to endure this prejudice and isolation. Consequently, he bitterly guards his privacy, saying to Lennie, “this here’s my room...I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain’t wanted in my room.” This suggests that he is unaccustomed to company making him suspicious of others. Crooks combats his loneliness with books and work, but he realises that these things are no substitute for human companionship, evident when he says, “a guy needs somebody - to be near him”, admitting to being lonely and insinuating that he longs for
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