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GCSE ENGLISH - Controlled Assessment - Loneliness in Of Mice and Men Essay

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Loneliness in Of Mice and Men ? John Steinbeck ________________ - In this essay I shall discuss and attempt to conclude the many ways in which Steinbeck presents the recurring theme of loneliness. I shall be writing about how loneliness is perhaps one of the main traits each of these characters share and how Steinbeck seems to show how, and why, this common theme of the novel is a natural and inevitable result of the kind of life they are forced to lead. Each character in this novel exhibits loneliness although loneliness may be, in some ways, shown more in some than others. We see loneliness in numerous characters such as: Curley?s wife as she faces a continuous struggle for affection; Crooks who faces racial discrimination and prejudice; Candy, who?s only friend (his dog) dies causing him to despair. Each of the characters in the novel has a somewhat mental attitude that attracts them to the dream in which George and Lennie share causing their loneliness to subside, momentarily. - The novel is set on a ranch during the great depression as a result of the Wall Street crash furthermore Steinbeck centres the novel around two main characters, George and Lennie, who travel around America from ranch to ranch in hopes of fulfilling their lifelong dream. ...read more.


She tries to convince Lennie to speak to her despite what George was declaring. Curly's wife remarked, "You can talk to me, don't listen to George". But, Lennie didn't agree with what she has to say. Another piece of evidence, to suggest that Curly's wife is lonely is that she had no name! This proves that no one ever stays long enough to get to know her. Curly's wife also flirts with the male workers of the ranch to seek attention. The workers think she is a "tart" but she is an insecure, lonely woman and this is shown when she tells Lennie "I never get to talk to anyone, or else, Curly gets mad". My personal opinion is that Curly's wife married Curly for company, not for love, this I proved when we discover that Curley went to a brothel. There is nothing for his wife to do on the ranch. ?Think I don?t like to talk to somebody ever? once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?? From this we learn that Steinbeck presents her, as like Lennie, as a victim of the cruel world, subject to loneliness and the desire for friendship. Steinbeck uses George and Lennie as a contrast because they are the only people to have anyone to talk to. ...read more.


Another indication of the loneliness to come is within the first few pages, when he and Lennie arrive at a very lonely spot, with no habitation for miles around, and with the book set in Soledad, meaning loneliness, Steinbeck had planned this out very well and used many methods to present loneliness on the ranch. Steinbeck uses small, almost unnoticeable things to refer to loneliness, as just subtly mentioning George playing solitaire, which is a symbol of loneliness, when Lennie is not around. We learn that George had to ?cover up? for Lennie when he feels he has to lie and tell the boss that Lennie is his cousin, rather than admits he needs company. Steinbeck is an expert at presenting loneliness in such a subtle manner. The last line that Steinbeck wrote, read, "Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin' them two guys". Curly isn't used to being with someone for so long therefore he does not understand why they were depressed. Another example which Steinbeck uses to illustrate why these men are lonely was when Whit describes that he has a friend who was in a magazine; he said, "Do you remember Bill Tenner. He worked here three years ago?" This emphasizes how these ranch workers never developed relationships. In conclusion, John Steinbeck expertly portrays the theme of loneliness in "Of Mice and Men" in an interesting and original manner. ...read more.

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