Of Mice and Men
Loneliness is a dominate theme in Of Mice and Men. Most of the characters are lonely and searching for companion or just as an audience. The examples of character discuss the example of character loneliness, the efforts of the characters in search of companionship and their varying degree of success. ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a novella written by John Steinbeck in the 1937, with Loneliness being one of the primary themes. Throughout the novel, Steinbeck shows the enormous effect that loneliness has on the characters.
He most clearly illustrates this theme through Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife. Ranch hands are ideal types of people to portray as being lonely, because their constant travel leaves them without someone to talk to or share things with. Steinbeck also shows how important it is for every human being to have a companion. Companionship is necessary in order for someone to live an fulfilling life. Although loneliness affects each one of the characters in Of Mice and Men differently, they all experience negative feelings from their lack of companionship.
George has to take care of Lennie. He could abandon him, but he carries the responsibility. Having the care of an individual with a disability has restricted George’s life, opportunity to establish relationships, and forced him to move whenever something went wrong. The life style of a single migrant worker gives way to a lonely life. For example, Candy is a typical aged out ranch hand. He sits by himself often, is left behind when the others go to town, and is alleviated from the income and social environment.
If George continues to work as a ranch handle will eventually become like Candy. Lennie has George and he knows George won’t leave him. He gets mad when Crooks implies that George might leave someday. Lennie is a very naive character. He doesn’t worry about making new friends because the only person he cares about is George, the only way in which Lennie is lonely is that he can’t have mice or rabbits without hurting them. Lennie is frequently off in his own dream world and is constantly preoccupied with dreams of the farm which he and George someday hope to buy.
As a result, Lennie is unable to face reality at times, a fact which puts him even more out of touch with the real world and with other workers. Lennie is just like a big baby. He refuses to defend himself and often cannot be held responsible for his actions. This irresponsibility, combined with Lennie’s abnormal size and strength, causes many of the other ranch hands to shy away and fear him. When George meets the old, decaying Candy and his antiquated dog, he tells him about the “black” man called Crooks. Candy stated to the inarticulate George “give the Stable Buck hell.
Ya see the stable buck’s a nigger”. This was typical of 1930’s America as black people were thought of as inferior to white people. This suggests that Crooks was friendless. He has his “own bunk in a separate nigger room” and “he scattered personal possessions around the floor; for being alone he could leave things about”. Crooks is obviously suffering from racial discrimination as he is the only black man on the ranch and is not allowed in the bunkroom with the other men because of his colour. He therefore, had a very lonely existence.
Candy is lonely because he is old, and is different from the other hands. His only comfort is his old dog, which keeps him company and reminds him of days when he was young and whole. The disconsolate Candy becomes lonely after his beloved dog was shot. The men in the ranch describe the dog as a “stinking hound”. Candy feels dejected as he says “I wish somebody would shoot me when I become useless”. Curly’s wife is the only female on the ranch and although she is married, you never witness the distinct couple of Curly and his wife together; they are always searching for each other.
Curly’s wife is lonely and, as a result of this, she was endlessly trying to make friends with George and Lenny. She tries to convince Lennie to speak to her despite what George was declaring. Curly’s wife remarked, “You can talk to me, don’t listen to George”. But, Lenny didn’t agree with what she has to say. Another piece of evidence, to suggest that Curly’s wife is lonely is that she had no name! This proves that no one ever stays long enough to get to know her. Curly’s wife also flirts with the male workers of the ranch to seek attention.
The workers think she is a “tart” but she is an insecure, lonely woman and this is shown when she tells Lennie “I never get to talk to anyone, or else, Curly gets mad”. My personal opinion is that Curly’s wife married Curly for company, not for love. In conclusion looniness is the main theme in the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’, by John Steinbeck. Every character demonstrates on how lonely they really are, but each character has different types of loneliness and they all have different ways with coping with it.