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Loneliness and Dreams in Mice of men.

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Introduction

Loneliness and Dreams in Mice of men. John Steinbeck wrote the novel of Mice and Men during the great depression. During this time there were few jobs which meant people had to migrate in search of jobs. This meant they were constantly moving and could not establish lasting friendships or relationships. Steinbeck portrays the loneliness and hardship felt by people living through the 1930's American depression. He shows how the dreams of the characters were what helped them survive through this period. In this essay I will discuss the dreams and loneliness of the characters in the novel and how Steinbeck reveals each characters loneliness and dreams. George and Lennie both experience loneliness. Even though they had each other George needed somebody on his wavelength, with his level of maturity because Lennie is like a child and does not think like an adult, he is mentally retarded. One almost gets the feeling that he doesn't want Lennie for companionship at all when he is talking to Lennie about how he would live without him. " God a 'mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy." Page 11 As George carries on talking of his laid back carefree lifestyle he dreams of he progressively gets angrier. ...read more.

Middle

Even when Lennie is on his own he is reluctant to talk to her because of what George has said about her. Crooks is a Negro in a society that considers non-whites as sub-human. He also is partially crippled which does not help when he is living in a society that value people by their ability to provide a service. Because of his race he does not sleep in the same room as the other workers, he lives in the room where he works in and ' a manure pile under the window.' Because of this Crooks spends most of his time on his own leading to a great feeling of loneliness. His only companions are his books and as he has seen people come and go he has acquired more possessions than the others have. His loneliness is revealed when he is talking to Lennie. Lennie is talking to Crooks in his room, telling him about the land they will one day own. " A guy needs somebody-to be near him." Pg 77 Crooks reads books but because of his colour he has no friend not even somebody on his wavelength. He is on his own every night whereas all the other men share their room in the bunkhouse. ...read more.

Conclusion

Steinbeck never suggests that dreams should not be had, Lennie and George's dream was so powerful that Candy was drawn in and for a short time so was the cynical Crooks. This dream was what comforted Lennie and helped George survive. The dreams the characters had had to be had they were what was needed to hold on to, to survive and to work for. This period of time made people bitter because they were lonely, the only person they had to look out for was themselves, kindness had no place on the ranch. They all cried out for love and care but only Lennie openly expressed his need for it through his constant talk of rabbits. Characters like Crooks had become cynical, he had lost hope and he couldn't dream. At first when Lennie talked of his dream Crooks thought it was another pathetic dream he was beyond imagining how everything could be. Curley's wife's dream was rather pathetic and quite unrealistic but it was a form of escapism for her. So she fantasised about her dream coming true but it was her way of coping when she was in an unhappy marriage that she had no way out of. It is sad to think that the loneliness that she was trying to get away from killed her in the end. ...read more.

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