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Of mice and men

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Introduction

One of the themes that runs through of Mice and Men is loneliness. Show how this connects the story, the characters and the different scenes in the book John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men in the 1930's. During these times, America suffered from mass unemployment. Due to the great depression men were forced to travel around to look for work. Of Mice and Men is a novel about the friendship between two men with the great depression shaping their lives Steinbeck shows how having to work from ranch to ranch, meant that they were unable to settle down in one town and raise a family. The novel takes place over a few days. The action takes place in Soledad, California. The two main characters, George and Lennie are close friends despite the fact that Lennie tends to get himself into trouble and George is left to bail him out. They both have no other friends. Of Mice and Men shows loneliness as a main theme in the novel. Loneliness relates to all the characters in the novel, Crooks who is a crippled black man living by himself on the ranch in the barn. Candy who is old and has his only friend who is a dog taken from him because the dog was too old. Curley's wife who has to be seen invisible by the other workers has no one to share her dreams and secrets too. ...read more.

Middle

On the ranch Candy is the first character that Lennie and George meet. He is the oldest worker on the ranch and is open and informative, to them. He probably understands their friendship because he too has a close friend who is a dog. He sadly lost one hand while working so he is disabled which makes him an outcast to the other men. Candy's dog is as old as he is since he has had his dog from as long as he can remember. Carlson (another ranch worker) complains and urges Candy to get rid of his old dog by shooting it. "He ain't no good to you, Candy. An he ain't no good to himself. Why don't you shoot him Candy". After serious persuasion Candy agrees for Carlson to shoot his dog. "Aright- take im" The decision to allow Carlson to have shot Candy's dog was questioned by himself saying to George "I ought to of shot that dog myself, George. I shouldn't ought to let no stranger shoot my dog". This is one of the regrets Candy wishes he could do for his dog. To have been the one to shoot it. Candy's loneliness is made worse at the fact that he has enough self-awareness that he is not useful anymore. Candy's interest in the dream shows that he is desperate to feel useful again and the only way he feels that is if he can achieve a useful role. ...read more.

Conclusion

"And the meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face". Steinbeck showed a more simple peaceful side to Curley's wife and shows the reader that her behaviour was caused by her 'ache' for attention. Towards the end of Of Mice and Men Steinbeck shows the readers a strong example of friendship. When George find out that Lennie killed Curley's wife he knew that Lennie would be hunged. The reader is reminded of the fact that Candy said to him earlier that he should have shot his own dog. Since George is Lennie's only true friend he takes it upon him self to shoot him. He wanted Lennie to die happy. It must have been hard for George to shoot his friend. George would now be like the other characters in the novel 'alone'. Before George shoots Lennie he creates in his mind the vision of their dream. He does this deliberately so that Lennie is completely oblivious to all the bad things that have happened and that he is free from loneliness in his final moments It seems that loneliness is an inevitable fact of life for ranch workers. Steinbeck shows this though George and Lennie's dream that they can pretend and trick themselves into believeing that they can escape due to failure of the dream and the tragic outcome of the novel Steinbeck shows that their is no escaping loneliness for his characters. Charlene Sagoe 1 ...read more.

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