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Compare the way in which Thomas Hardy in "The withered arm" an "John Steinbeck" in "Of mice and men" prepare the way, in the opening chapters, for the theme of loneliness.

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Introduction

Compare the way in which Thomas Hardy in "The withered arm" an "John Steinbeck" in "Of mice and men" prepare the way, in the opening chapters, for the theme of loneliness. Loneliness is a basic part of human life, everyone becomes lonely once in a while, Both Thomas Hardy in "The withered arm" and John Steinbeck in "Of mice and men" have set their stories on the theme of loneliness. The withered arm is classed as a short story, it was set in Wessex, during the 18th century, and the book was written by Thomas Hardy and published in 1988. "Of mice and men" was set in the 1930's; it tells the story of two lonely men trying to live out the American dream in the farming lands of north California. ...read more.

Middle

Rhoda and George are both similar due to the fact that they both only have childlike characters to confide in and have no one of their intelligence to talk to. Although George and Lenny have each other they are still lonely. It seems there relationship is more of a chore then a friendship. Because George and Lenny are "migrant American labours" they do not have the chance to settle down and make friends. Another cause of loneliness is due to prejudice towards the coloured citizens, the coloured and crippled stable boy has been isolated in a bunk separate from the other ranch workers as his colour creates yet another class in society. It is ironic that one of the only people to recognise that his colour makes no difference is Lenny, and he is the least intelligent person in the story. ...read more.

Conclusion

As she is the wife of a reasonably wealthy man she is not to be seen mixing with the workers or lower classes. The idea of division among social class is also true in "of mice and men" where Curly's wives is believed to be higher class and are not expected to spend time with the workers. When Curly the men's living quarters there is an uncomfortable conversation as his class has set him from the rest. It is all the more shocking then that his wife is continuously talking and hassling the other men into being around her because she feels isolated as she only has her husband to talk to. The language is very important in "the withered arm" as there are many words and phrases, which are not commonly used any more such as "lorn" this helps to set the date in which the story is set and written. ...read more.

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