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Of mice and men, loneliness and isolation

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The fear of Loneliness and the problems of isolation are major themes in the story In this essay I will look at three characters and write about how they are lonely and isolated, the three characters I have chosen to look at in this essay are Candy, Crooks and Curley's wife. Candy the ranch swamper is an old man who knows that his years are numbered, he is lonely for a number of reasons the main ones probably being because of his age and his disability, he lost his hand to machinery whilst working on the ranch and the boss is only keeping him there out of a piece of loyalty but he thinks soon he will get sacked. Crooks is a negro stable buck who lives in the ranch barn, he is named Crooks because he has a crooked back the main reason for his loneliness and isolation is because he is a negro. Curley's wife is newlywed to Curley; she always seems to be flirting with the men on the ranch, she is young pretty and curls her hair, the main reason for her loneliness is because she is the only women on the ranch and Curley is very protective over her. Of Mice and Men is a short book written by John Steinbeck. ...read more.


But we do not find out the fait of this plan because we don't know if 'the dream' will still be intact without Lennie being there. Candy's dog is in a way what Candy is afraid of becoming, the dog is no good to itself or anyone around it, it is old and smells out the bunkhouse and no one on the ranch wants it there, he is afraid he will become useless and completely isolated from everyone. Crooks is probably the most lonely and most isolated character in the book, my first point and probably the most important one for his isolation and loneliness is his colour, Crooks is a negro and in the 1930's racism was widely accepted in the U.S.A and all over the world, people like the ranch workers thought that black people were inferior to Caucasian people, the ranch workers take out their own misfortunes and problems on Crooks because they know there is nothing he can do about it. On page 80 Crooks for once stands up for himself but Curley's wife puts him in his place again, she says "Listen, Nigger. You know what I could do if you open your trap." She is saying here that if he talks to her in manner like he was when he stood up to her she could get him hung. ...read more.


For instance when George and Lennie first arrive at the bunkhouse we see her for the first time and as usual she is looking for Curley Steinbeck talks about her make up and hair emphasising the fact that she wants to look pretty. Another way to get over her loneliness was to talk to the simple minded Lennie, she decided to take advantage of the fact that Lennie is not right in the head. She comes over to him and starts' flirting with him but Lennie doesn't understand and falls to touching her hair. As Lennie likes touching things a lot this spirals out of control as once he has started touching her hair he doesn't want to stop. This results in Curley's wife's loneliness taking her life. Steinbeck put across the loneliness and isolation of these three characters and more very well in my opinion, it seems inevitable that loneliness will occur for the ranch men and Curley's wife. I also like the subtle hints of loneliness on the ranch for example the way George plays solitaire over any other game he could have played with a pack of cards. I think the loneliness and isolation is so inescapable because loneliness is something that can happen to anyone, and this is made worse by the fact there is so much discrimination in the 1930's and on the ranch, and the fact that Lennie and George have a friend and someone to talk to emphasises the fact that the other men and women don't. ...read more.

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