• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the theme of isolation and loneliness with reference to the characters in “Of mice and men” by John Steinbeck.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the theme of isolation and loneliness with reference to the characters in "Of mice and men" by John Steinbeck. This essay is on a book called "Of mice and men" and the author is John Steinbeck, who has no great story lines but concentrates on characters. In this book the main theme is solitude as nearly everyone is lonely. He concentrates on George and Lennie who travel around together going from ranch to ranch until Lennie gets into trouble. The main theme is isolation as all but one of the characters are isolated in many different ways. Some are isolated by others, some by themselves and some by their disabilities. The author, John Steinbeck, tries to make the point that not everyone has a family or a place to call home, and tries to make the reader feel sorry for the characters by putting them in unhappy situations, it almost makes you hate certain people in this novel for the things they do or say. Steinbeck is always putting references into the book of isolation and loneliness. For example, when they play a card game called Solitaire, it's a game that you play on your own. ...read more.


This is due to the fact that his companion is a big, strong man called Lennie. Sometimes George wants to get rid of Lennie and he keeps saying to Lennie that it would be so easy without him. This way George could have a normal ranch life but Lennie fuels his dream as he is different and "He has a future." That's why George keeps Lennie around. Lennie Small is a big, strong man who is not very clever. He relies on his best friend George to do all the thinking, and to constantly "Tell 'bout the rabbits." And "How it's gonna be." Otherwise Lennie would be alone and in serious trouble, he really needs George. Lennie is very simple and he likes to "Touch nice things." And he does so with drastic effects as he doesn't know his own strength. When they were working in Weed, Lennie grabbed a girls red dress and she screamed, all Lennie could think about was to hold tighter. The woman told the townspeople and they chased Lennie and George out of town. Candy is an older member of the ranch, he got his hand cut off and that meant he could not work in the fields with the other men. ...read more.


This shows us that she has little importance to them. This is probably because she's a woman and men thought of women differently in those days. Her isolation and loneliness leads to her tragic death. She finds a friend in Lennie as she talks to him about "I coulda been in the movies." She tells her story/fantasy then she tells Lennie to feel her hair and he loves to touch nice things. She said "Look out now, you'll mess it." Then she tried to pull away and she started to shout. Lennie jerked her head, his strength just snapped her neck. In her death she seemed to go back to her "Young innocence." As she lay in the barn. Slim is the only one who has no real isolation as he enjoys his own company but he is admired and respected by all the other men, even Curley. Slim was said to be able to "Whip a fly off a mules rear without touching the mule." Slim is slightly isolated due to everyone looking up to him but it does not seem to bother him. He is a pleasant man as he comes into the bunkhouse and straight away, he makes friends with George and Lennie. The theme of loneliness keeps popping up in this novel and the references are very obvious. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. How does John Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in his novel 'Of Mice ...

    on and now he has the chance to pick on someone else so he does. But he then backs down for fear of Lennie losing his rag. However Lennie isn't really taking in what Crooks is saying, he doesn't understand. Crooks just enjoys the company of someone other than himself.

  2. Discuss the importance of loneliness and isolation in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"

    whereby she is estranged from her family and settled in an unhappy marriage with someone whom she does not love. As a result of her situation Curley's wife has become a predatory flirt, seeking out the company of farm workers to distract herself from the consequences of her choices.

  1. Illustrate the theme of isolation in "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

    There are three main people in the book who suffer, Crooks, Candy and Curleys Wife. They all suffer injustice in the form of prejudice and discrimination. Candy was thought of as an outcast as he has no longer got the physical ability due to his age; and his physical disability does not help his cause.

  2. Why I think Candy was added by John Steinbeck to his book

    Although he did have his sister and brother in-law however without his parents it was not the same. In the theme of loneliness the relationships that the main characters have in the two novels are very similar, although having someone there in "Of Mice And Men" George and Lennie had

  1. After Reading “Of Mice And Men” And “Captain Murderer” Compare Lennie And Captain Murderer ...

    He gave his wives gruesome deaths and so I think he deserved a gruesome death. Captain Murderer's character is less real compared to Lennie. Evidence of this is the way in which his death is described. It's very un-realistic and cartoon like.

  2. Explore the themes of loneliness and isolation in John Steinbecks novel Of Mice and ...

    the other", "Both wore black shapeless hats and both carried tight blanket roles slung over their shoulders". Lennie even attempts to act like George, "Lennie who had been watching, imitated George exactly". All this behaviour expressed by Lennie is very typical of any young child trying to copy their father or mother.

  1. How does the author John Steinbeck portray loneliness and isolation in the novel "Of ...

    Lennie was isolated from being able to talk to people as George felt he would not be accepted if they heard how mentally immature he was. " Jesus, he's jes' like a kid, ain't he?" Lennie thinks that the only person he can trust and talk to is George, but

  2. Of Mice and Men - Loneliness and Isolation

    Curley's Wife is the only woman that is in the novel. She sees this as a way to flirt with other men around her."...she said playfully". This is another example of her trying to get some attention from the workers, this time she uses her sexuality and good looks to get their attention.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work