• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays

  1. Analysis of Loneliness in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

    He states, "That big new guy's messin' around your pups out in the barn." Then he goes on to explain what Lennie was doing with them: "He's takin' em outta the nest and handlin' them." The ranch workers gossip because this is the only way that they can communicate.

  2. How does the theme of loneliness affect the friendship and relationships in "Of Mice ...

    Candy says "Well, I think Curley's married a tart". George says, "Jesus what a tramp". Whit calls her a "bitch". She is a very lonely woman so she acts very sexy towards the other men in order to get attention because she has no friends. Curley imposes her loneliness on her.

  1. How does John Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in his novel 'Of Mice ...

    Lennie did jump in, although he couldn't swim at all. He nearly drowned and it was a while before Lennie could be pulled out. Then he was so nice to George for pulling him out; I think the duty came from this, because George felt guilty.

  2. Of Mice and Men - Loneliness and Isolation

    To conclude, the phrase "you know what I can do if you open your trap" is the message that is so threatening towards the other ranch workers including Crooks. In other words what Curley's wife is trying to say is that she can accuse him from rape because he has no rights.

  1. Explore the themes of loneliness and isolation in John Steinbecks novel Of Mice and ...

    to be an individual without the constraints of prejudice, so this could be a reason why the dream of owning their own land appeals to Lennie and particularly George because they are constantly excluded and being forced to move around because of Lennie's disability and the unusualness of their relationship.

  2. Of Mice And Men coursework (theme of loneliness and friendship)

    child out of the two men, as you can tell how he talks and acts around George and throughout the whole book. Being a man Lennie lacks a lot of language, which I think that he never attended a lot of school.

  1. This essay will focus on the theme of loneliness in the novel 'Of Mice ...

    lonely would always be together because they would both own the land and this would also keep Lennie out of the trouble that jeopardizes the dream. In the relationship that they share George is the adult and carer who looks after Lennie keeping him out of trouble.

  2. Soledad means loneliness. Explain the significance of the theme of loneliness in the ...

    In the era the novel was written it was the norm to segregate black and white people. In today's society this would be known as racism. He is treated unfairly and therefore acts the same way toward the white people who have offended him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work