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'Of Mice and Men' - the theme of lonelyness

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Introduction

'Of Mice and Men' Essay. Many of the characters in 'Of Mice and Men' are lonely. They experience loneliness and seek comfort in many different ways. Loneliness is defined as the unhappiness that is felt by someone because they do not have any friends or do not have anyone to talk to. People deal with loneliness in many ways. Introverts form a barrier and keep people away. They want to be isolated from others and keep to themselves. They have neither roots nor friends. Introverts usually keep quiet and draw in on themselves. However, extroverts are the opposite. They seek attention and react to their environment by being aggressive or are overwhelmed with emotions. Loneliness is a major theme in 'Of Mice and Men'; George and Lennie manage to avert it by their relationship; it embitters Candy and Crooks and it kills Curley's wife. Steinbeck sees loneliness as a part of the human condition, something we are born with, and something we either fight or endure for the rest of our lives. Soledad, 'Our Lady of Loneliness' is not a nurturing environment. It is a place where everybody is isolated because there is a lack of trust and friendship. The Great Depression of 1929 led to this because in many states of America there was unemployment, a lack of money and no relief offered to jobless men and women. Without work, many people lost their self-respect; others continually struggled to find work, often travelling thousands of miles across America, leaving homes and families behind them. They were known as itinerant workers. In the country things were almost worse than they were in the cities; farmers were being driven off their land, there had been a series of droughts which had ruined the crops and dried up the soil and farmers could not afford to re-pay the bank loans which helped them to buy their farms in the first place. ...read more.

Middle

This made Crooks relieve the emotions he had drawn into himself. At first, he is "aloof" but gradually realises that Lennie is not a threat because his manner is open and not prejudice. He reveals about his childhood when he played with white kids and was unaware of prejudice. He happens to realise that the value of communicating is important and taunts Lennie with the idea that George might not return for him because he seems to get pleasure in Lennie feeling the loneliness he feels. Crooks happens to know "It's just bein' with another guy. That's all " that counts. He causes torture and knows that Lennie is understanding about him being lonely because "Crooks' face lighted with pleasure in his torture" and when "a guy gets too lonely, he gets sick." He knows this because he has had the love and affection from his childhood and has experienced the American dream; the same dream George and Lennie want to achieve. "I remember when I was a little kid on my old man's chicken ranch. Had two brothers. They was always near me, always there." Crooks remembers a happy childhood with the companionship of his brothers. He becomes friendly with Lennie because he knows that Lennie wants the dream as much as he does and he also knows that "never a god-damn one of 'em ever gets it" because it is unattainable. Curley's wife is another lonely character in "Of Mice and Men." She presents herself as a tart because of the intense loneliness she experiences. She seems to always want to get attention from the other men however this does not happen the way she wants it to because everyone she approaches rejects her. She is treated like a possession by Curley and is not expected to have her own personality. Although the other people on the ranch do notice her, they do not communicate with her for fear of Curley's anger. ...read more.

Conclusion

He treats her like a possession and even though he has only married her for a week, he is always looking for her. He is an extrovert who is insecure. He seeks comfort by beating up people. When the men on the ranch gather to attack him, he feels threatened by it and has to prove that he is superior to everyone else. He does this by attacking Lennie and lashing out on him even though Lennie has not done anything to him. He says "come on, ya big bastard" because he wants Lennie to feel how he feels and wants to beat him up because he is larger than him. Curley does not know that he is lonely; he thinks that everyone has a lower status than him so he can boss them around. His dream is to have power over everyone else and wants to get respect from them. His dream has already been achieved. In "Of Mice and Men" Steinbeck shows us that those who have no understanding of relationship are totally unaware of George's and Slim's emotions because they have no friendships themselves. Carlson's final observations are insensitive and show that he is ignorant of his own loneliness. Neither he nor Curley understands the pain George is experiencing. George and Lennie manage to avert loneliness by their relationship. Steinbeck sees loneliness as a part of the human condition, something we are born with, and something we either fight or endure for the rest of our lives. "I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an' on the ranches with their bindles on their back an' that same damn thing on their heads. Hundreds of them. They come, an' they quit an' go on; an' every dam one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a god-damn one of 'em ever gets it." Steinbeck suggests that everyone has a dream even though it is unattainable; it keeps their spirits up and makes them look forward to achieving, something that is inspiring and to keep their hopes up. Krishna Pindolia ...read more.

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