• 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 loneliness in the novel 'Of Mice and Men' by looking at the characters 'Crook, Candy and Curly's wife'.

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the theme of loneliness in the novel 'Of Mice and Men' by looking at the characters 'Crook, Candy and Curly's wife' Loneliness plays an integral role in the novel and it is this theme, which effectively leads to the inevitable ending. Each of the characters mentioned in the essay title re-enacts different aspects of the definition 'loneliness'. Hence I will explore the way in which Steinbeck epitomises loneliness, using each of these characters. Crooks is depicted as a 'loner' due to his supposed unfortunate predicament of being born a 'nigger'. Despite this term being derogatory, it highlights the immediately low social stratum that black people occupied in a period where racism and segregation was prominent. ' The boss gives him hell when he's mad' Just because is black, he is at the receiving end of the boss; wrath, a white man. Crooks is described by Candy as a 'nice fella'. The reader is left to assume that the only Black character mentioned in the story is 'lonely', as the reader is almost oblivious of his presence. It is but for the initial reference to him and the re-emergence of his character in the middle section of the book that the reader is forced to remember. The idea of 'loneliness' with reference to Crook's character has two explanations. The primary reason for his loneliness is 'Cause [He's]... black'. Crooks is annihilated due to his race which in the period when the book was written, segregation was rampant. ...read more.


For a short while at least his cocoon of isolation seems to be disintegrating: ' It was difficult for Crooks to conceal his pleasure with anger' This narrative indicates that he is content, as he finally has human company, which he can interact with. The fact that 'Guys don't come into a coloured man's room very much' indicates that despite the solemnity he has become accustomed to, company is always welcome, after all 'A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody' The partial hope of escaping from his sombreness is probably what gives him enough courage to say to Curley's wife on her intrusion into his room, 'Maybe you better go to your own house'. Despite it being his own space, Crooks essentially relinquishes his non challenging role as a 'negro' and dares to question a white person's authority. Yes, he can dream, but Curley's wife throws reality back in his face when she relegates him back to the 'terrible protective dignity of a negro'. Crooks accepts that he will never be a white person's counterpart and concludes: ' You guys comin' in an' settin' made me forget. What she says is true.' Crooks forgot his place as a 'Nigger' and so 'had reduced himself to nothing...nothing to arouse either like or dislike'. Crooks is lonely and no one in the story truly understands his predicament. However the reader is forced to conclude, that his annihilation is what retains the fact that he is 'proud [and] aloof. ...read more.


She becomes so comfortable speaking with Lennie that it is this which leads to her death. She is so willing to poor out her heart, her disappointment and the fact that she is lonely, that Lennie gets attached. It is her sexuality which causes her death. She confides in Lennie admitting that '[she] don' like Curley'. So when Lennie starts to stroke her hair she does not mind initially, but this flirtatious act is what leads to her death. Lennie kills her involuntarily; yet this fate was inevitable. Each of these characters experienced their own forms of loneliness. It is quite interesting to note that each of the characters all end up in the same room, having been left out of the other activities which the men are indulging in: Crooks because he is black, old and cripple, Candy because he is old and disabled and Curley's wife as she is thought of as a sex object, not a person. Although she asks herself, ' An' what am I doin'? Staindin' here... a nigger an' ... a lousy ol' sheep. Yet she answers her own question when she says, ''They left all the weak ones here'. She actually does belong there as all characters are lonely in some way or another and have been excluded from the activities of the ranch. Is it not fair that they comfort each other? The reader understands that this is not possible, as they are not compatible with each other due to their different predicaments. Written By L Itam ...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. Marked by a teacher

    How is the theme of racism and loneliness shown through the character of Crooks ...

    3 star(s)

    Crooks can't do anything about it because he have very few rights, and is being bullied in a mental way; even if Crooks did do something no on would stick up for him or defend him because of peer

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

    He realised his attitude towards Lennie was rotten, and from that day on I think he tried to improve his manner towards Lennie. Then the more time George spent with Lennie; the more he liked him. Now George almost treats Lennie like his son.

  1. Loneliness is an important theme in 'Of Mice and Men'. Discuss this statement with ...

    Crooks is another lonely character in the novel. He has been working on the ranch, for a long time, and he also is injured. A horse kicked him on the back, and now he can't stand up right. He lives in the stable buck, and keeps himself occupied with books.

  2. Of Mice and Men - Loneliness and Isolation

    Crooks expresses his loneliness by saying that he 'ain't got nobody'. The word 'nobody' means nothing really, by Crooks using this word when talking to Lennie it really indicates how Crooks is feeling deep down. At the time of the Depression many people that were black were treated far worse than white people.

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

    John Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife as though she isn't important enough to have a name, he tries to emphasise the fact that she's Curley's property. Page 2 When George and Lennie see Curley's wife for the first time, Lennie is transfixed by her, Curley's wife is searching for Curley.

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

    hard work but the rewards they are after are different, they are not looking for riches and any family ties but are simply after a life without any worries and most importantly together which seems good enough for them. One idea behind the American dream is to have the opportunity

  1. This essay will focus on the theme of loneliness in the novel 'Of Mice ...

    Lennie is lucky because without George he would probably not survive because he has the mind of a child, someone might take advantage of Lennie because he is na�ve. Steinbeck builds up a picture of Lennie by using phrases which compare him to a child 'A few beans slipped out of the side of Lennie's mouth'.

  2. A constant dreamer

    But one night after this interval I again found myself being shown out onto the lawn for tea, and Mrs. Stone was not there, while the others were all dressed in black. At once I guessed the reason, and my heart leaped at the thought that perhaps this time I

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