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Isolation and loneliness in 'Of mice and men'

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Introduction

Isolation and loneliness in 'Of Mice and Men' Isolation and loneliness affects every character in Of Mice and Men to some extract with the exception of Slim. This is partly due to the fact that they move from ranch to ranch unable to form a real relationship. Or there was something about them that society didn't accept, such as skin colour, being crippled, being a woman in a man's world or being a retard. The ranch is the main setting in the book which emphasises isolation and loneliness, and the location of the ranch is called Soledad which is Spanish for 'loneliness'. The ranch is very remote because George and Lennie take such a lengthy walk to get there. The boss of the ranch shows that he is lonely because he is unaccustomed with the idea of friendship between two men. 'I never seen a guy take so much trouble for another guy' The workers are all nomadic and solitary, like the man who used Georges's bed before him, 'He just quit, the way a guy will...just wanted to move.' When George was describing the dream to Lennie, George describes the workers as 'the loneliest guys in the world' with 'no family' and 'nothing to look forward to.' ...read more.

Middle

Lennie is also very protective of George, 'Ain't nobody goin' to talk no hurt to George'. When he kills Lennie, George makes sure Lennie dies happy, Lennies last words being, 'Le's get that place now' this is ultimate proof of their friendship. Crooks is segregated in the barn, this shows racial discrimination of the 1930s, this is the main reason for his loneliness. Candy tells a story from Christmas when 'they let the nigger come in that night.', again showing racial discrimination of the 1930s. I think Crooks is the loneliness guy on the ranch because he is excluded from the bunkhouse, no cards or chat. When he comes to speak to Slim about a mule's foot, he does not enter, 'the stable buck put in his head.' We see how he lives at the start of section 4, he reads books to take the place of companionship. 'Crooks was a proud, aloof man' because he has no choice but to endure the prejudice from the other ranch hands, he also has to endure isolation. He doesn't let anyone is his room, saying to Lennie, 'This here's my room...I ain't wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain't, and you ain't wanted in my room.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Every time we see Curley's wife her excuse for wandering around is, 'any you guys seen Curley.' All the ranch hands are careful around Curley's wife because they are scare of what Curley might do, George has to teach this to Lennie, 'leave her be. On Saturday night, she wanders into the bunkhouse despite knowing Curley has gone to the cat-house she asks where he is, clearing showing she is lonely. She announces her loneliness to these men, 'Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?' She lashes out because nobody wants to talk to her, calling them 'a bunch of bindle stiffs' and saying she is only here because 'They ain't nobody else.' She pleads with Lennie, 'I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.' She maybe the loneliest person on the ranch. When she realises that she can talk to Lennie, she confides that she only married Curley to get away from home and he mother who 'steals' her mail. Although Steinbeck is sympathetic and we like the characters we know at the end there is no escape from their loneliness and poverty. ?? ?? ?? ?? David Bulley 39427 'Of Mice and Men' coursework ...read more.

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