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Of Mice and Men

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Christian Davies Of Mice and Men coursework Q: Consider the theme of loneliness in the novel Of Mice and Men. How does it affect the friendships and relationships of the characters in the novel? In his novel Of Mice and Men Steinbeck is he is trying to show the theme of loneliness and how it affects relationships. He shows this by setting the novel in the time of the Great Depression where most men were lonely and isolated. He contrasts this by using two characters George and Lennie who travel together with a strong relationship and a dream. George and Lennie are two itinerate workers who have been sacked from one job and are trying to get another one on a ranch in Soledad. George Milton is the clever one and is described as being small and thin. Lennie Small has the mental age of a child - he is a huge man and very strong. The writer creates irony with Lennie's name, as he is not small but big and strong. ...read more.


The other men are also quite sympathetic towards Candy, reassuring him they won't hurt the dog and offering him new one. Candy does not want his dog to be killed as he tries to put it off by saying 'maybe tomorra, let's wait till tomorra,' but Candy finds it hard to say no because he doesn't have any influence over the other men- this is shown when the author writes: "Candy looked a long time at Slim to try and find some reversal.' After this traumatic time, because Candy has compensation money he gets involved with George and Lennie's dream saying he could cook and clean for them in the ranch they plan to buy. George and Lennie agree and the three of them become friends, but have to keep quiet about the plans so nobody can stop them. The character Crooks, a stable buck, is lonely because he is black he is also isolated from the other men and kept in the barn where he 'has books too.' ...read more.


Lennie is in the barn because all the other men are playing out side. Later Curley's wife appears. Lennie knows that shouldn't be talking to her but Lennie gives into her persuasion and they start talking. Then Curley's wife makes the mistake of asking Lennie to stroke her hair, Lennie loves soft things and doesn't want to let go of her. She starts screaming for him to get off of her but Lennie doesn't understand so he shakes her violently until he breaks her neck. After realising what he has done he covers her with hay and runs away. George and Candy found her first and with one look they both knew that their dream was over. The other men find out what has happened and want to kill Lennie. So now George and Lennie have no friendship and will just end up loners like all the other men on the ranch. In the end George decides he will deal with Lennie, sends the other men off in the wrong direction, finds his friend and shoots him dead. ...read more.

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