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Of mice and men

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Mice and Men "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't matter no difference who the guy is, longs he with you. I tell ya a guy gets to lonely an he gets sick". This is a very interesting definition of loneliness brought to us by Crooks, one of the pivotal characters, along with Candy and Curley's wife, whom develop the theme of loneliness the most in the novel. Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men' is set at the time of the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929. The currency is almost worthless and people can afford little possessions. Due to the situation, many people move from place to place to find work. This means they are never in one place long enough to form any relationships, thus being a very lonely existence: "Guys like us, that live on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world." George and Lennie are the two main characters of the novel, they find work in a ranch near Soledad: even the name of the small town recalls Solitude, furthermore soledad means loneliness in Spanish. Which emphasises the power and role loneliness has in the novel. Steinbeck infact emphasises loneliness, powerlessness, and isolation, and his hatred for it throughout the novel. He contrasts this with the companionship of George and Lennie. ...read more.


Candy is an old, physically disabled swamper. He has worked on the ranch for a great part of his life, and it is on this very farm he was victim of a machinery accident which cost his hand, leaving him behind money but loneliness. His old age and his handicap make him feel useless, this thought makes him more "handicapped" than his missing hand. He feels like a useless old man who is wasting the last few years of his miserable life. He is haunted by the idea of losing his job because he is a cripple and that this will then further lead him to death. " I got hurt four years ago. They'll can purty soon. Jus'as soon as I cant swamp out no bunk houses they'll put me on the county" Candy thinks that no one wants to be his friend because he has missing a hand. He is often invited by the other people on the ranch to drink and play cards but always refuses because he has a very low self-esteem, so Candy is putting a loneliness tag on himself and not the other people. At the end he tries to make friends joining George and Lennie's dream: to have their own ranch. This is one of Candy's feeble attempts to make place for himself in society, and to give himself a goal in life. ...read more.


This shows us how radical sexism was like in the 1930s and how woman were treated in that society. Although the sympathy we at first feel for her soon diminishes due to her cruelty, and the she treats: Candy Crooks and Lennie referring to them as 'a nigger an' a dum- dum and a lousy ol' sheep' moreover she dismisses their dream as 'Balony'. Curley's wife notices how simple-minded Lennie is and takes advantage of that situation. She knows that Lennie is the only person, with whom she can discuss her problems. Her type of loneliness is caused when there is no one around you to talk to. This underlines the sexist society of the time, a society that didn't care of a women's opinion; a society that only looked at women in cat houses and brothels. Curley's wife was aware of this and tried to seek attention through her body, Maybe Curley's wife demanded too much of Lenny's simple mind, more that what he could give to her: without meaning to, he kills her. Curley's wife's death can be seen both as a tragedy and as something positive because she ended all of her sufferings. All these three characters are very alike even though they have different types of solitude, because everyone tries to solve their problems in some way. All three also try to get closer to George and Lenni's friendship. Solitude is an inevitable fact of life, an important phase of growth that not even the strongest people can avoid. ...read more.

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