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The theme of loneliness in the novel "Of Mice and Men"

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Introduction

The theme of loneliness in the novel "Of Mice and Men" By John Steinbeck Loneliness is a basic part of human life. Loneliness is an inevitable fact of life that not even the strongest can avoid. Every one becomes lonely once in a while but in Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men", he illustrates the loneliness of ranch life in the early 1930's and shows how people are driven to try and find friendship in order to escape from loneliness. The theme of loneliness is a dominant theme in john Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men". Steinbeck displays the theme of loneliness and what people are willing to do to avoid it in a variety of ways. One of the most important things in life that is really needed is a friend. Without friends, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude. The characters in this novel are intrigued and envious of the special friendship shared by George and Lennie because they do not have that in their life. The setting of the novel is destined for loneliness. Soledad is short for the town's full name, 'Nuestra Senora de Soledad' which means 'Our Lady of Loneliness'. This is the town that is closest to the ranch, a place that is already full of lonely, solitary people. "Guys like us, that live on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world." ...read more.

Middle

He is striving to achieve sympathy and understanding from others. 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. Candy, like Crooks is an outcast because his age and physical disability make him different from the rest of the men on the ranch, but he always tries to communicate with them as much as he can. Candy has one true friend in the world, his dog, which he cannot even talk to. However, when his dog is killed, he has to look elsewhere for friendship. 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, Candy tries to find friendship by attempting to join the dream of George and Lennie. 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 into the dream "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 sutff like that". ...read more.

Conclusion

Curley's wife's case of loneliness was the most severe throughout the novel. She struggled in her society to find somebody that she could befriend. Even if all people are miserable when they are lonely, the consequences of friendship can be even worse. When one of the members of a friendship is removed, it causes misery and pain; when Candy lost his dog, he kept thinking about him, and felt terrible because he kept thinking that he should have shot his dog himself, and looks for friendship elsewhere. When George had to shoot Lennie, he felt terrible, because he had just shot his best friend, his lifetime companion, his only friend in the world. Human beings were made to live together, thus all people are driven towards others, and it is a natural instinct to seek friendship and companionship. When they find it, they are the happiest people. The only downside to finding a friend is what happens when one of the friends is lost. This causes even more misery in the remaining friend, and forces the friend to start searching again, which is a hard process, because the person has taken the habit of his friend and being comfortable in his relationship, and opening towards others is harder. 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 a right as it is a privilege, that we much treasure as it keeps us away from loneliness. ...read more.

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