John Steinbeck's Idea Of Loneliness

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In the book, Of Mice and Men, the author, John Steinbeck portrays a difficult time in the 1930s after the stock market crashes in 1929. Steinbeck uses the main characters, George Milton and Lennie Smalls, to tell a story of loneliness, and how it can affect a person. Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife to develop the thematic idea that loneliness can negatively impact behavior and cause isolation. One way that Steinbeck defines his ideas of loneliness is by using Curley’s wife to show that loneliness leads to isolation. In this scene, Curley’s wife talks to Lennie about her life before she meets Curley. Lennie tells her to leave but she responds by saying, “I get lonely...You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley” (Steinbeck,…show more content…
In this scene, Curley’s wife talks to Candy, Lennie, Crooks, and Slim about how lonely and isolated she feels. She says “If I catch any one man, and he’s alone, I get along fine with him. But just let to of the guys get together an’ you won’t talk” (Steinbeck, pg 77). Curley’s wife’s isolation builds her negative personality causing her to constantly guilt trip people and make them feel bad about themselves. This is caused by Curley’s controlling personality, always bossing his wife around. In another part, Curley’s wife talks to Slim, Lennie, Candy, and Crooks about how she wants someone to talk to. She says, “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?” (Steinbeck, pg 79). Curley’s wife doesn’t care about how people think of her, she just wants people to think of her. She also wants someone to talk to other than Curley because only talking to Curley makes her feel empty and abandoned.…show more content…
In this part, Curley’s wife talks to Candy about how his dreams are not going to work out. She says, “I seen too many of you guys...I know you guys” (Steinbeck, pg 79). This proves that Curley’s wife has been at that house for a long time with no one to talk to, and it’s caused her to have a constant need for attention. The only way she knows how to get attention is by messing with people. Curley’s wife tries to explain to Candy that his dreams will never work out which portrays that she deals with her attention by bring people down. In one of the final scenes, Curley’s wife tells Lennie to feel her hair after she finds out that Lennie likes soft things. Then, Lennie grabs onto her hair and will not let go. After struggling for many seconds, “she was still, for Lennie had broken her neck” (Steinbeck pg 91). Curley’s wife’s continual urgency for attention ends up getting her killed. All she wanted was to have someone to talk to, but she took it too far after her feeling of isolation was too overwhelming. Wrap-up
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