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Loneliness is one of the most vital themes of the book "Of Mice and Men."

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Introduction

Loneliness is one of the most vital themes of the book "Of Mice and Men." This theme of loneliness is portrayed in many ways. It is mainly conveyed through the characters actions, thoughts and sometimes even in their own dreams such as Lennie and George. The novel is set in the American outback, miles from anyone or anything. In many ways this is the loneliest place for some people on the ranch. People on the ranch seem only to care about themselves as they often travel alone, living in the outback doesn't help either. Not many real friendships can be built in ranches as people come and go very regularly, this leads to the men on the ranch travelling alone. Lennie and George are different from other people who live on the ranches because they have each other. Loneliness is one of the reasons why the two stay together as they know that "a guy needs somebody." George knows that what he has with Lennie is special as he says to Slim, "seen guys that go around on ranches alone. They aren't no good. They don't have no fun." Although George knows this, it is not the reason why George and Lennie have been together for this long amount of time. The reason why they stick together is because of their fear of loneliness. Both George and Lennie realise that the reason they are not lonely is because they have each other. Lennie knows he has George and George know he has Lennie so they can always rely on each other to help them through their greatest complications. ...read more.

Middle

After the death of Curley's wife at the hands of Lennie, Curley shows just how much he cares about her by ignoring her completely. He shows more interest in getting retribution for Lennie disfiguring his hand earlier in the novel. Her death bought no mourning on her part; it barely demonstrates how unhappy and lonely her life had become and how the other workers had more or less forgotten her very existence even before. Another character in "Of Mice And Men" that is lonely is Crooks. His pride and dignity means that he tries to hide the fact of his unhappiness from the other workers on the ranch. Crooks is the only black man on the ranch, he is also the only black man ever mentioned in the entire book. This factor isolates him from everybody else, so in comparison to the rest he could be considered the loneliest character in the book. Around the ranch Crooks is often referred to as the "the nigger". This is a direct insult to Crooks so he doesn't take life on the ranch well as he knows everyone else fell superior to him. This was not uncommon during the 1930's in the USA. Crooks has his own room in the barn, which isolates him even more from the others. This in turn triggers his loneliness furthermore. To try to escape his loneliness Crooks has purchased reading material to try to escape the real world into a life of imagination rid of loneliness, prejudice and discrimination that he faces every day. ...read more.

Conclusion

He seals the offer by saying he'd leave them his half of the ranch in his will, "I'd make a will an' leave my share to you guys in case I kick off," "cause I ain't got no relatives nor nothing." The ranch this story is set in is not an unusual ranch. Being a migrant worker would involve having one of the loneliest jobs in the world. After the depression in America in the 1930's it would be very hard. The characters in "Of Mice and Men" are good examples of workers on most ranches across America. Most workers in the 1930's would be lonely as friends were not easy to come across nor keep for that matter. Curley's wife had a particularly bad time as her dreams are so far away from reality that it made here more lonely and isolated than if she dreamt of something less, impossible. All the characters suffered from some form of loneliness. Lennie and George would have been envied by most others as they had something know one else had. They kept each other going each day and gave each other hope with their dream ranch in sight. "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong a place. With us it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us." This was Lennie and George's motto and I think this is how they survived so well and managed to avoid loneliness at most points. ...read more.

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