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Symbolism of Loneliness in 'Of Mice and Men'

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Introduction

Symbolism of Loneliness in 'Of Mice and Men' Steinbeck's novel 'of mice and men' is set in the time of the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929. The currency is almost worthless and people can afford little possessions. Because of the situation there are many people moving from place to place to find work. This means they are never in one place long enough to form any relationships, so this is a very lonely existence: "Guys like us, that live on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world." All that the men really ever spent their money on was the cathouses and bars, so they can never break free from their dire lives. Steinbeck emphasises loneliness, powerlessness, and isolation, and his hatred for it throughout the book. He contrasts this with the companionship of George and Lennie. They are the only men who actually travel together, and this is proved by the way everyone is suspicious of their friendship, for example when they come to get the job at the ranch the boss says: "you got a stake in him?!" ...read more.

Middle

Crooks hates the way he cant be with the other men: "Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm Black. They say I stink. Well I tell you, you all stink to me!" Crooks loneliness is because he is rejected; others treat him unfairly because he is black. Crooks is enthralled by the strength of the friendship of Lennie and George, and how close they are. Crooks said to Lennie when the men had gone out to town, "Well, suppose, jus' suppose he don't come back. What'll you do then?" Crooks asked this question because he does not have any friends, and wouldn't know how loosing them unexpectedly would feel. He is envious about their friendship because it makes him feeling even worse about being isolated knowing that there are friends while is stuck all alone. Crooks strives to achieve sympathy and understanding from others. This is when he 'sucks up' to the respected Crooks would work for nothing if it meant communicating with others. He even offers his services to Candy to work on their "dream ranch" to join in on the friendship and dream shared by Lennie and George, in order to leave behind him his lonely life. ...read more.

Conclusion

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 nearly all his life. 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. Candy thinks that nobody wants to be friends with him because of this. Eventually, he tries to find friendship by attempting to join the dream of George and Lennie: "I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some." He tries to show that the he could be useful to persuade them to let him in. The relationship between George and Lennie is very similar to that of Candy and his old dog. Both George and Candy and lonely, even though they have companionship; Candy cant talk to his dog, and George can't have a really serious conversation with Lennie either. This is why they all need the dream of the place of their own. It is interesting that the Candy's dog and Lennie have the same fate; both are shot in the back of the head unaware of what is going to happen. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kit Lawrence 9R Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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