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Lonliness as a theme in "Of mice and men".

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Introduction

Steinbeck has introduced the novel during Americas 1930s Great Depression. Throughout this devastating period majority of the population were either unemployed or working on an extremely low pay. In this depressing time men were separated from their families as they had to migrate to find work. Men who were once friends distanced themselves from one another because of a lack of trust and a sense that every man was in it for himself. Steinbeck reflects this through the characters in the novel as they do not travel with anyone or have any close relationships with one another. This is due to them knowing that because of migration they cannot gain true companionship, thus reflecting the lives of the migrant worker. They believed that these actions where a key factor in order to survivethe Great Depression. Steinbeck has used their lives to represent one of the main themes in his novel, loneliness. Steinbeck?s language gives the reader an insight as to what the Great depression was like thusencouraging the reader to empathise with the ranch men and understand their choices thus fashioning a unique relationship between the readers and the characters. ...read more.

Middle

The reader can identify that deep down she knows that the other men will not treat her any differently. This creates sympathy within the reader as we know she is falling further into the trap of discrimination, the following implies this. ?So that?s what curly picks for a wife?. This reinforces her lowly status as she is described as ?that?s? giving a perception that she is an object rather than a human being Her loneliness is further explored through her interactions with Lennie. Steinbeck uses this to uncover her true character behind all the bravado and make up. ?wha?s the matter with me?? She cried ?Ain?t I got a right to talk to nobody?? Reflects the sadness and aggravation in her voice. The aggravation sources from her need for attention, she is unable to comprehend why she is unworthy of being spoken to. This again highlights the low rank women held. The use of the rhetorical question ?wha?s the matter with me?? depicts her paranoia as she believes that for no one to acknowledge her she must be at fault. Her paranoid behaviour has steamed from the attention and affection her husband, curly has deprived her of. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although her dream is now dead Steinbeck has shown the reader that the death has relieved her of an existence full of distress and loneliness. ?The meanness andthe plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone fromher face.? Depicts this new found freedom. Steinbeck has used the rule of three with the words ?meanness? ?plannings? and ?discontent?. He has assigned her these qualities to cover up her suffering and isolation. Likewise Lennie?s death also illustrates the death of a dream and emphasises the fantasy of the dream. But unlike curlys wife George is not set free from a burden but has become trapped in the world of a typical ranch worker. This is exemplified when George reminds Lennie of their dream and thatthey?ll ?live on the fatta the lan?.? In doing so he is additionally reminding himself of what is being lost with the intention of reliving his dream before it is killed. Steinbeck has used the theme of loneliness to illustrate the similarities between George and Curly?s wife. The main similarity is their masks. The character of George uses his strength as Lennie?s guardian to shield his inner vulnerability as an anxious man who is afraid of what the future holds. Curly?s wife uses her feisty character to hide how unhappy and depressed she is. ...read more.

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