Theme Of Codependency In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Sam Keen once wrote, “There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is 'Where am I going? ' and the second is 'Who will go with me? ' If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble" (Keen 12). It is the time of Great Depression and it is every man for himself. In this society it is typical to live and travel alone but some are unable to handle this life of loneliness and develop a reliance on codependency. Codependency is a psychological condition in which someone is in an unhealthy relationship that involves living with and providing care for another person with a pathological condition. Whether it is George codependent on Lennie or Candy dependent on his companions, the characters form a codependent…show more content…
Loneliness is a contagion that can engulf a human 's soul. George and Lennie became aware of this early on in their lives leading them to form a mutual dependence on each other. At the ranch, after being asked by Slim, George opens up about the incident in Weed, "[George] 'Well, that girl rabbits in an’ tells the law she been raped. The guys in Weed start a party out to lynch Lennie. So we sit in a irrigation ditch under water all the rest of that day. Got on’y our heads sticking out from the side of the ditch. An’ that night we scrammed outta there '" (Steinbeck 44). In Weed, Lennie had grabbed a girl and frightened her to the extent that she accused him of raping her which got both…show more content…
Friendship is the lock that closes the door to loneliness. Candy was aware of the lonely life of men on ranches and to avoid this solitude, he grew a reliance on the companionship of his mutt, and later George and Lennie. After a gruesome argument in the ranch, Candy 's mutt was taken to be shot and Candy lay on his bed terribly sad, "A shot sounded in the distance...For a moment he [Candy] continued to stare at the ceiling. Then he rolled slowly over and faced the wall and lay silent" (51). Carlson had initiated a conversation on Candy 's dog reeking in the ranch house and a final decision was made to shoot the dog and put its misery to an end. Candy 's ego is pragmatic which led him to let the guys shoot his dog but it was clear of the pain he was going through with the loss he had occurred. Candy had depended on his dog for friendship since he was a young boy and throughout time, he had not realized that he depended on the dog for his own sense of security. Unable to handle the absence of his best friend, Candy moved to George and Lennie for companionship, " 'Tell you what...S 'pose I went in with you guys. Tha 's three hundred an ' fifty bucks I 'd put in. I ain 't much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How 'd that be?...I 'd make a will an ' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off...You guys got any money? Maybe we could do her right now? '" (59). Candy overheard George and Lennie talking about their dream
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