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Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel, 'Of Mice and Men'.

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Introduction

Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel, 'Of Mice and Men'. How does it affect the friendships and relationships in the novel? This novel was set in America, during the American depression in the 1930's. John Steinbeck wrote a detailed and accurate account of life on the ranches, he was inspired to write the story as he used to work on a ranch during the depression. He knew about how people lived and how sometimes you become very lonely moving from ranch to ranch as you were unable to settle anywhere and establish any real bonds. Most people kept themselves to them selves, but Lennie and George had a good relationship, they had travelled together for years and had learned to work well with each other. They were brought together as Lennie was retarded and George knew his Aunt Clara, when she passed away he promised that he would look after Lennie. Yet if George lost Lennie or vice versa, they would be in the same position as everyone else, with no real friends. On the ranch there were a lot of other lonely people, yet a few stood out. Mainly the 'nigger' as he was called by most of the ranch workers, when he was called by an appropriate name he was called Crooks. ...read more.

Middle

The language implies that he was some kind of animal, who wasn't aloud in unless they wanted to beat him. He had one of the worst jobs on the ranch, the stable buck, he worked and lived in the stables with no body else. Although he did have a crooked back which meant he couldn't do some of the jobs which required more strength. Crooks was lonely throughout yet he made no attempt when others did to make a friend, as when Lennie came in to his barn he tried to order him out. When he realised how simple Lennie was he enjoyed a mocking him, he felt as though he had power over someone. Eventually he started talking to Lennie as an equal, and he obviously enjoyed it having someone to talk to, someone to let it all out with. He opened up to Lennie about how his life used to be with his family and how deserted he really felt; 'I tell ya a guy gets to lonely an' he gets sick.'. Crooks spent most of his time reading, but books couldn't satisfy his need for a friend; 'Books ain't no good.'. The problem was that Crooks made no attempt to make friends, he had a mutual agreement, which was not spoken of, but everyone knew that if they stayed away from the 'nigger' he'd stay away from them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Candy also stood out because he was the oldest figure on the ranch, and you could see that he made no real attempt to make friends until George and Lennie arrived. Maybe he saw them together and thought they might understand what it was like to have a real friendship, and he wanted to be part of it. Curly's wife was clearly a lonely figure, mainly because she was the only girl on the ranch and because she was Curly's wife, no one dared to get to involved with her in fear of what might happen to them if Curly found out. George and Lennie weren't as lonely as the others, but because they actually experienced real friendship, they felt lonely in a way as they couldn't make any other trusting friends as they were on the move to much. Lennie was lonelier than George was, although he didn't really notice or mind, he was left out of all the fun and the few games they played on the ranch. In this novel Steinbeck wanted to let out his feelings, and to let people know how it used to be during the American depression. It may have been a true story, relating to one of the ranches he worked at, or it could be a based on a real life on the ranch, but not one which he had experienced. ...read more.

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