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Loneliness in the Novel Of Mice and Men

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Loneliness in the Novel Loneliness is one of the main themes which runs throughout the entire novel. Most of the characters are lonely or experience loneliness from time to time. Two of the key characters however, George and Lennie, are not lonely because they have each other for companionship. The idea of two itinerant ranch-workers travelling around together is unusual. "'Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place.'" Most workers lived a friendless life, they had no one for support or company, but George and Lennie are different because of their comradeship, however, not all the people on the ranch understand their relationship. An example of this is the Boss, who is immediately suspicious of the two men's relationship. "'I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy. I just like to know what your interest is.'" The Boss assumes that George is taking Lennie's pay away from him because George will not allow Lennie to speak. Curley's reaction is similar to that of his father. When George tells Curley that him and Lennie travel together, Curley says, "'Oh, so it's that way.'" ...read more.


Whenever Carlson suggests that Candy's dog should be shot, Candy is mortified, because even though he realises it is cruel to keep the dog alive, he needs it for support, much in the way that George needs Lennie, but realises that Lennie cannot handle difficult situations because of his limited mental capacity. Once Candy's dog has been shot, Candy instantly wants to be a part of George and Lennie's dream for the future. Now that he is without his dog, he has to look elsewhere for company and motivation. He regrets not shooting his dog himself, and tells George: "'I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot my dog.'" This makes George understand that he should shoot Lennie himself towards the end of the novel - he wants Lennie to have a peaceful and painless death, and when Carlson shows Candy how he would shoot his dog without it feeling a thing. George shoots Lennie because he understands the seriousness of his crime and he understands that it is better that Lennie dies peacefully than to suffer a painful death at the hands of someone else. Candy is more than likely to suffer the same fate as his dog. ...read more.


We never find out how Curley really feels, therefore we do not know if he is lonely or not. Carlson keeps himself occupied with his obsession with guns, and Whit is kept busy with his cowboy magazines. They have no companionship other than the cat-house. It is likely that they turn to drink for support, and it is interesting to note that after the death of Lennie, George also turns to prostitutes and drink for companionship because he has lost his friend. He realises that this is not something to be proud of, but I feel that he has given up his dream and has resorted to living in the same way as the other men on the ranch. The men are also kept amused by playing cards and horse-shoes, and they release their tension and frustration through violence. Slim is the only character that is never really lonely. The reason why is that he has a job that he loves. He voluntarily does work that is not even necessary, and because he enjoys this work, he is never really bored. He finds his companionship in the work that he does, and the Prince of the ranch, by his attitude, shows that while not all are lonely, if you are, then life has little true happiness to offer. ...read more.

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