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

"Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world" Discuss the significance of loneliness in Of Mice and Men.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Guys like us, that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world" Discuss the significance of loneliness in Of Mice and Men. Loneliness plays an enormous part in Of Mice and Men as a large proportion of the characters are minorities or discriminated against, therefore they have to come to terms with loneliness on an every day basis. The loneliness is endemic of this culture as the line of work they are in often forces them into travelling alone as all of them are 'migrant workers'. It is difficult deal with and all humans want companions. George has a companion in Lennie and although Lennie is not intelligent he is loving and protective. This prompts questions at the Ranch that they go to as the people here are not familiar with this kind of friendship, when they are interviewed by the Boss at the new ranch the boss is suspicious of George. He thinks that George is stealing Lennie's pay but then when George tells him that that is not true he retorts, ' Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy'. Companionship is a foreign aspect of life for him and he cannot understand it. ...read more.

Middle

Candy is also very much a victim of the 'sickness' of loneliness because he is a cripple and anyone with a difference is considered not worth the effort. Like Crooks he has to combat this loneliness in some way and he does this through his dog. The dog's personifies Candy and is a metaphor for Candy's life: old, ignored, good for nothing and eventually disposed of, as Candy will unquestionably be. He is, in fact, very friendly though no one will accept him because he is different. This is a recurring point throughout the novel about the exclusion of those who are different: Crooks is a Negro, Candy is disabled, Lennie is unintelligent and Curley's wife is a woman (which was considered to be inferior in those days). These people are all lonely because they are superficially inferior to their 'typical' counterparts. All these people combat their loneliness by employing different tactics: Candy forms a tight bond with his dog, Crooks reads books, Curley's wife presents herself as a flirtatious 'floozy' and the vast majority of migrant workers visit a prostitute once a month. The dog, which symbolizes Candy, is mercifully killed in a supposed act of kindness. This signifies the insensitive attitude of many of the workers to Candy's feelings and his attachment to the dog. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then there is the idea that as he is kind and friendly to all he feels that the fulfilment he gains from this respect and the way that nobody dislikes him is enough to grant him a feeling of friendship although it is not indisputable friendship, I find this the most credible of the three as the friendliness that he offers everyone acts like a passive, though adequate, friendship. The idea of loneliness is an ongoing topic throughout the book that effects nearly all of the characters, though to lesser and greater degrees. Steinbeck uses the book to show how humans are affected by loneliness and the way that humans are weak without friendship as they are strong with it. We are shown in detail how humans change through prolonged periods of solitude into shadows of their former selves. Loneliness is an incurable disease for those who are apparently inferior though those who are not cannot and never will be able to understand the significance of this state of being. 1. A letter by from Steinbeck written to an actress who was playing the part of Curley's wife in a Broadway production in 1938, and who wondered about her character. F.Moynan Remove 1 November 2002 ...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

    What is the significance of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?

    4 star(s)

    George and Lennie are the two main characters in the novel. They seem to provide a contrast to the theme of loneliness because they have each other and care about each other and they share their dream to have a house and 'a couple of acres of land'.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Who is the loneliest character in 'Of Mice and Men'?

    3 star(s)

    which excludes him from the rest of the gang causing further isolation, Crooks says 'a guy can't just live with book a guy has to have somebody to talk to', this again shows his loneliness and shows the importance of a social life however small.

  1. "Guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world, They got no family, ...

    For example "western Magazines ranch men love to read and scoff at and secretly believe" the word secretly shows how the men have to keep their real feelings hidden from the others to appear strong and survive, like any weakness would leave them vulnerable to attack.

  2. Of Mice and Men is a study of loneliness - Discuss.

    I think the escape in from the hard life is less true or Lennie and George because they seem to be the only people who are actually trying to live out the dream of having a plot of land, whereas most of the other characters in the ranch are simply

  1. Analysis of Loneliness in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

    Instead of greeting the men warmly, and then introducing his query, he gets straight to the point, requesting a valid answer. Curley does not have much experience talking to people since he is always either in town or looking for his 'wife.'

  2. Of Mice and Men - Loneliness and Isolation

    Even though Crooks is struggling he still tries his hardest which makes him a hard worker. Candy is another character in the novel that experiences loneliness and isolation in many different ways. These reasons are because of his age, disability and incidents that have happened throughout the novel, like when his dog got shot(which he brought up as a pup).

  1. What is the significance of loneliness in this novel?

    I get awful lonely." Unlike George, Lennie or Candy, Curley's wife has therefore not had experience of being responsible for someone and making sacrifices for them - whether it is giving up petting a dead mouse or giving up the chance to drink and gamble.

  2. the general and his labyrinth

    This is significant because after putting all of his effort and life to bring liberty and unity to South America, he is trapped in turmoil of deception and loss. In The Wars, Robert Ross puts his life in danger when he joins the army, because he feels he owes a

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