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Choosing one character from each of the texts, explain how the authors show their isolation from others.

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Thomas Boddington Choosing one character from each of the texts, explain how the authors show their isolation from others. You will need to look at all aspects of the story, character, place time and setting, as well as the language the authors use to express this. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, and "The Signalman" by Charles Dickens both present characters to the reader who are isolated in some way. Steinbeck was writing "Mice and Men" when America was going through the great depression. Many people were suffering great hard ships as a result of the lack of jobs and men had to travel great distances to find work - often alone and were isolated from family and friends. The character of Lenny is very isolated from the people he works with and from his environment in spite of the fact that he travels with a companion. Similarly, the Signalman is isolated from others but this is due to the nature of his job. ...read more.


" A path beaten hard by boys coming down from the highways. " On the whole it is described as an extremely hospitable place. Isolated but welcoming. "Willows fresh and green with every spring". This place comes to represent a place of safety for Lenny at the end of the story where he comes to hide, because of his isolation. The Signalman's story unfolds to produce a quite ghostly story. The first impression that Dickens gives of the Signalman is of a mysterious character, -"Dark sallow man with a dark beard and heavy eyebrows" The use of the word dark suggests a shady character no one knows much about, and links him with his surroundings, which is true because he is on his own. His unsociable working hours Thomas Boddington and isolated working place, prevent him from seeing other people and making contact with them so nobody really knows him. " Heavy eyebrows" may also disguise what he is thinking and feeling. ...read more.


The only time he becomes bold enough to initiate speech is with crooks another isolated character. Signalman has a good grasp of the English language, similarly Lenny dose not. Steinbeck uses language that is childish and often uses incomplete sentences for Lenny's character. Lenny often curses and swears but not like other men when he does it makes his speech more unnatural. So both characters are isolated due to their lack of communication with others. In "Of Mice and Men" Steinbeck uses colloquial dialect to portray their Americanisms "Oh, so ya forgot that too, did ya?" In shorter sentences unlike Dickens who uses long complex descriptive sentences with a lot of detail. Steinbeck still puts in descriptive and detailed sentences but with less complex vocabulary. But Dickens's complexity was due to the time he was writing, the nineteenth century. This makes his work less accessible to the modern reader. In both stories there is a very short time period where you get to know the characters very quickly and the reader focuses more closely on the characters. This is to build up the dramatic effect of the endings where they both die. ...read more.

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