Essay, Research Paper: Of Mice And Men By Steinbeck

Literature: Steinbeck

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Of Mice and Men “I ain’t got no people,” George said. “I seen the guys
that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no
fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin’ to fight all the
time” (41). A major theme in Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men is
loneliness. The characters George, Lennie, Candy and Curley’s wife each suffer
from loneliness even though their isolation varied. The old swamper Candy, was
destroyed by isolation as a result of two main factors, one being his disability
and the other being his age. For example, throughout the book the reader finds
the farmhands out bucking the barley while Candy is left behind to sweep and
clean the ranch. He lost his hand after getting it caught in a piece of
machinery and as a result he is forced to stay behind. This major factor leads
to his loneliness. Also Candy’s age adds to his feeling of uselessness. He
looks down on himself as an old worthless man that’s throwing away his last
few years. Not only is it the way that others think of him but also the way he
thinks of himself that forces him to find loneliness. The most obvious case of
loneliness is Curley’s wife. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t fit
in. For example, when she tried numerous times to talk to George and Lennie she
was either ignored or told to leave. She had a reputation for being a flirt so
none of the farmhands wanted to talk to her. It was the threat of getting in
trouble with Curley that caused many workers to avoid her. George didn’t want
to get in any trouble with Curley so he told Lennie not to “even take a look
at that bitch” (32). She was ignored by both the farmhands and her own husband
and because of this she was being forced into loneliness. George and Lennie are
very different from all the other ranchers. Slim told George that its “funny
how you an’ him string along together” (39). Slim mentioned this to George
because most of the ranchers didn’t string along with anybody. Slim also told
George that most ranchers “come in and get their bunk and work a month, and
then they quit and go out alone” (39). Most of the ranchers didn’t care
about anybody unlike George and Lennie. Loneliness is one major unavoidable fact
of life that not even the strongest can avoid. During the story Of Mice and Men
the reader discovered the many sources of loneliness. Candy and Curley’s wife
suffer from discrimination, which leads them to loneliness. The intensity of
each character’s loneliness varied and the effects were related to the
greatness of their lonely condition.
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