10 Grade Honors, 5 Period
Due Date: 11/7/2018
OF MICE AND MEN
Loneliness is the feeling of separation and no hope or dreams in your life. John Steinbeck accomplishes depicting this topic successfully through key fictional characters in Of Mice and Men. By living within the town of ‘Soledad’ (Spanish for loneliness), the audience gets overpowering sense of the discouraging environment that the migrant workers are living through. However, Steinbeck educates the reader that indeed through difficult work and thriving, it is unattainable, which is spoken to by Candy, crooks, George and Lennie.
Candy is one of the most noteworthy characters within the novella that speaks to loneliness. Candy is separated because of his inability and also because of his dog. Besides, when his dog gets shot he considers that he does not have much to live for. He cannot work with the other farm men and now has lost his only friend and companion. John Steinbeck makes Candy appear much lonelier with a few of the choices of dialect, in a way to show him into a character that he is. Candy is caught under other farm men due to the truth that he is basically ‘useless’. “You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn’t no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me…” (Steinbeck pdf ). This quote shows how much his dog implied to him and that since his dog has been shot, he has lost all trust in life. He communicates his sentiments saying that he would or maybe rather die than to live alone without any companionship. “He leaned forward eagerly”. Candy listens to the dreams and recaptures inspiration to live, overlooks pity over the loss of his dog and uses the dream to recapture companionship as Lennie and George does. Candy only had his dog as a companion and friend, and upon the dog’s passing away, he has no one and thus connects himself to George and Lennie.
Crooks, the stable-hand man, is another lonely character at the ranch. The main reason why Crooks is lonely is because he is black. Most of the men at the ranch continually put down Crooks and utilize him as a scapegoat, even to the point of calling him the “n” word. Because of his color, Crooks must live by himself in a little room within the barn. Crooks is perhaps the only man on the ranch who does a substantial amount of reading, vainly hoping it will help pass his lonely hours. Unlike Lennie, Crooks has no dreams for the future which gives him the feeling that he is trapped on this lonely ranch for the rest of his life. “He kept his distance and demanded that other people keep theirs” (67). Here, Crooks gets to be so accustomed to this steady isolation, that he is suspicious of any men who all of a sudden try to create companionship with him. ‘Noiselessly Lennie appeared in the doorway and stood there looking in, his shoulders filling the opening… Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt to make friends. Crooks said sharply, “You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me” (68). Lennie accidently stumbles onto Crooks’ room one night within the barn and tries to sit down and converse with him. Crooks gets to be suspicious and tries to drive Lennie away, however, in the long run he lets Lennie in. The reason why Crooks lets Lennie in is because Crooks is secretly very lonely, and I think he actually wanted to talk to Lennie, so he agreed to let Lennie in his room pretty fast. “We’ll jus’ come on in then”.
Curley’s wife is also of the lonely characters in the novella. After reading her conversation with Lennie, “she went on with her story quickly before she got interrupted”. “ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody”? This shows us that Curley’s wife is endeavoring to clarify to Lennie what her life was like before he showed up in her life. She really wants to share it with him because he’s the first person who hasn’t walked away from her, so she feels quite close to him. This can also show us that she came and talked to Lennie since she felt lonely and had no one to talk to, hence we are able to tell that her life must have been disconnected. This also shows that her husband must have been busy with friends and he’s happier with friends rather than his wife, which means she isn’t truly loved. This also highlights the truth that it was her negative life involvement that made her act within the way that she did. This will moreover show us that John Steinbeck wants the reader to go on a roller-coaster (hate her, like her, hate her) which makes the novella more interesting to read. “She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young”. By using the words sweet and young to portray her, makes us feel too bad for her since it appears that she is innocent and that she didn’t truly deserve to die. Curley’s wife has no title, she is a possession, she doesn’t exist in her own right, no one sees her as an individual and Steinbeck didn’t want the reader to. She’s stereotyped by everyone else as a sexual predator and can’t justify herself, or her behavior due to the fact that she’s a woman and no one can see past this.
The characters who are unmistakably lonely include Crooks, Curley’s wife and Candy. But an argument may well be made that all the characters endure from loneliness and distance. Lennie and George have a distinct advantage over the other characters since they have each other. “But not us! An’ why? Because… because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why”. Lennie in any case, gets to be lonely when George goes into Soledad on a Saturday night. In chapter four, he is within the horse shelter when he sees crook’s light. He is normally inquisitive about starting a conversation with Crooks out of the need to be with somebody. George is in some cases portrayed with the terms “morose”. While not characterized as loneliness it does show that George is sullen and gloomy. He is a sad and lonely man who is always on the move, never able to put down roots and remain in one place. Additionally, he is always stressed about Lennie and what the huge man might do which can get them in trouble or “canned” from work. His dream is to one day have his own “little piece of land”. This dream farm is for George and other characters, the arrangement to loneliness and unease.
Overall, George, Lennie, Curley’s wife, Crooks and Candy are influenced by the cruel reality of loneliness which Steinbeck presents sincerely through setting and their own disabilities in 1930’s America – whether it’s bigotry, sexism or not able to perform viable aptitudes. Indeed with their American Dream, Steinbeck shows this only makes them more helpless against the wide world ahead of them inside a lonely town known as ‘Soledad’. In spite of myself being sincerely associated with these characters and needing them to succeed I figure it out that there may be no trust for them until the end of time.