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Soledad means loneliness. Explain the significance of the theme of loneliness in the novel. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck illustrates the loneliness of a

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Introduction

Soledad means loneliness. Explain the significance of the theme of loneliness in the novel. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck illustrates the loneliness of a California ranch life in the early 1930's. Throughout the story, you discover the many sources of solitude, being discrimination and prejudice, resulting in loneliness and isolation. All the characters are extremely lonely and unhappy with their lives except Slim, who is the only character that seems to be confident and happy with his life. "Guys like us, that live on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world". George means that if they did not have each other, then he and Lennie would be all alone, with no friends, like all the men like them, who were loners working from ranch to ranch. Living lonely, solitary lives. Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own. George and Lennie are very different, physically as well as mentally, even thought they talk to each other, we can sense that they are both on a different level. George is a smart, quick-witted man, who seems to need mental stimulation from a companion, which he cannot have in his relationship with Lennie. And Lennie doesn't always understand what George is talking about, as Crooks points out; "Sometimes he talks, and you don't know what the hell he's talkin about. ...read more.

Middle

Candy has one true friend in the world, his dog, which he cannot even talk to. However, when his dog dies, he has to look elsewhere for friendship. He hopes that these friends can be George and Lennie. Because of his age and disability, he has a feeling of uselessness. "They'll call me purty soon". Candy thinks that nobody wants to be friends with him because of this disability. Eventually, he tries to find friendship by attempting to join the dream of George and Lennie. Candy offered his services to become a part of George and Lennie's friendship and dream, this is one of Candy's desperate attempts to find a place in society and meaning in life by making himself useful to someone, by proposing the various things he could do to show that he is in fact useful and could bring a lot in the dream as well, "I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some" "you'll let me hoe in the garden" An, I'll wash the dishes an, little chicken stuff like that?. After Candy lost his dog, he felt much more lonely than he was before. The dog was something that Candy had owned and confided with within his years. Candy and his dog had the same relationship that George and Lennie had shared for so many years. ...read more.

Conclusion

Curley's wifes case of loneliness was the most severe. She struggled in her society to find somebody that she could befriend in vain. The relationship between George, Lennie, Candy and his old dog. Both George and Candy are lonely, even though they have companionship. Candy can't talk to his dog, and George can't have a really serious conversation with Lennie either. Even though they have companionship, they need something deeper and more meaningful. Also interesting is the similar fate of Candy's dog and Lennie who will both be shot in the back of the head unsuspecting of what is going to happen. One of the most important lessons we learn in Of Mice and Men is that Friendship and human interaction are two very valuable things, and that having them is as much as a right as it is a privilege, that we much treasure as it keeps us away from loneliness. Loneliness affects many of the characters, and Steinbeck seems to show that it is a natural and inevitable result of the kind of life they are forced to lead. The workers are caught up in the trap of loneliness, they never stay in one place long enough to form permanent relationships. Even if such relationships existed, they would probably be destroyed by the demands of the way of life at that time. Karen Lee ...read more.

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