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

Loneliness is a predominant theme in "Of Mice and Men"

Extracts from this document...


Loneliness is a predominant theme in "Of Mice and Men". Discuss how it effects: * George and Lennie * The migrant workers * Crooks * Curley's wife Of Mice and Men is set in the farmland of the Salinas valley, where John Steinbeck was born and which he knew all his life. Steinbeck's father owned land in the area, and as a young man Steinbeck had worked on the farm. The ranch in the story is near Soledad, which is southeast of Salinas on the Salinas River. Weed is nearby. The countryside described at the beginning of the book, and the ranch itself, would have been very familiar to John Steinbeck. The title of the novel comes from a poem by the Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759 - 96): The best laid schemes o' mice and men Gang aft agley [often go wrong] And leave us nought but grief and pain For promised joy! The novel is mainly about the life of two migrant workers, George and Lennie. As we read the novel we experience how their friendship is different to the other guys on the ranch. Many of the men on the ranch would have loved to have a friend, someone to talk to and be there for them. Everyone on the ranch has a dream to achieve, it takes their minds of the problems they have in their everyday lives and gives them hope for the future. ...read more.


George always tells Lennie about their dream to keep Lennie happy but in fact it is Lennie who makes George actually believe that their dream will come true. This relationship is different as they have each other, they travel together and they do have someone to talk to. Candy is the handy man on the ranch. He is separated through ageism and his disability as he lost his hand in an accident he worries about his future on the ranch. Fearing that his age is making him useless, he wants to be part of George and Lennie's dream so he offers his life's savings to be part of their dream. When his one faithful companion; his dog was shot it in the back of the head as it was old, this made Candy think that the ranch workers will do this to him. This made him come back down to earth and he realised that this dream would never come true. Candy represents what will ultimately happen to all ranch workers. Through time, they will get old and have no place to go. Crooks was the "Negro stable buck" he is an outcast on the ranch because of the colour of his skin; he is offered referred to as a "nigger". He does not live in the same bunkhouse with the other men but he has his own bunkhouse. ...read more.


The men on the ranch refer to her as a "tramp," a "tart," and a "looloo." She dresses in fancy clothes and feathered red shoes. She is a temptation to the other men on the ranch and she uses this to her advantage to get what she craves- affection. Steinbeck lets us see two sides of Curley's wife and in the end we do have great sympathy for her. Like the other ranch workers, she is desperately lonely and has broken dreams of a better life. She is lonely because Curley doesn't pay much attention to her. This lack of attention from Curley forces her to seek it elsewhere. She flirts with the other ranch hands but they pay her no attention either. We find out that she doesn't even like Curley and she married him as a last resort. She dreamed of being a famous actress, her loneliness became so bad that she dressed as if she was in the movies and this resulted in her being known as a "tart." She is the end of George and Lennie's dream. When Lennie kills her their dream is forever lost. Candy with his old age, Lennie with his retardation, Crooks with his race, Curley's wife with her gender: all are victims of the attitudes and prejudices of society. Some days we may feel lonely but the peoples lives in this novel were affected by loneliness everyday! The End ...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

    How is the theme of racism and loneliness shown through the character of Crooks ...

    3 star(s)

    This gives the reader an insight to what Crook's life is and really empathize what he has to go throw every day. This is why Crook's is given a voice. However when Lennie enters Crook's room, Crooks feels very insecure so he terns offensive and makes Lennie feel very unwelcome,

  2. Compare the Ways in which John Steinbeck and Thomas Hardy Explore the Theme of ...

    - rejecting the constraints of society for his own freedom, and in turn having much of it taken away. He shows to Gertrude the image of an enemy, the only one capable of causing such a blight, and Rhoda's fears are to be realised as, despite Gertrude never telling her

  1. Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel, 'Of Mice and Men'. How does ...

    They think that a new pup will be able to replace Candy's dog, however the relationship between them is similar to the one of George and Lennie and these friendships cannot be understood by the ranch workers because they have never encountered a close friendship of any kind.

  2. How does the theme of loneliness affect the friendship and relationships in "Of Mice ...

    He gossips a lot because he wants to make himself seem useful and make friends. He is isolated by the other men because he is old and so is his dog. When Candy wants to go in the bunk house he can not leave his dog outside because he loves

  1. Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel 'Of Mice and Men'. How does ...

    Lennie and George, even though they are so different, need each other. George says to Lennie, 'Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world... With us it aint like that. We got a future.

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

    Many of the characters in the book use the dream to escape the life on the ranch as they are lonely. For example, Candy is an outcast to a certain extent, due to being crippled and old and due to his loneliness, the dream of a ranch becomes a main

  1. In the novel "of Mice and Men" show how Steinbeck represents the theme of ...

    Another person who is lonely is Candy's wife. She is lonely because she is a woman and so none of the men really talk to her. Also because she is the only woman on the ranch she has no other women to talk to either.

  2. Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel, 'Of Mice and Men'.

    This always got him on trouble and they continuously had to move on when he did something 'bad'. George was quite small in comparison to Lennie, he had control over what ever Lennie did, Lennie would do nearly anything he said.

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