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The theme of loneliness in

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"Of Mice and Men" essay In the novel "Of Mice and Men" loneliness is an important theme. The author John Steinbeck effectively conveys the theme of loneliness through setting and characters. The plot is based around the two main characters, George Milton and Lennie Small who one day look forward to owning their own ranch. The novel begins when George and Lennie are chased out of Weed because Lennie had felt a girl's dress. Lennie chooses to do this because he likes to stroke soft items. The two decide to work on a ranch in Soledad and begin the journey. On the journey the reader finds out that Lennie is a big strong individual who is not the smartest of folks. While George is small and intelligent with strong features. When arriving at the ranch they are introduced to the other ranch hands Slim, Candy, Carlson and Curly. George and Lennie respect Slim and communicate well with him which results Slim giving one of his pups to Lennie. ...read more.


The location is never described. The novel is set in a time which refers to loneliness. It is set during the great Depression (1920-1930). The Depression was when good fertile farming land was lost because of little or no rain. This resulted in many people moving further west to find work. With people moving friendship was hard to find. I think Steinbeck's choice of time is an effective choice as it emphasises that people were looking for work rather than friends. Apart from conveying the theme of loneliness through the setting Steinbeck also conveys through the characters. A character which Steinbeck uses to show loneliness is Crooks. Crooks is the stable buck Negro who has a little shed of the barn as his room. Born in California, Crooks lives by himself. Having been excluded from companionship that exists in the bunkhouse Crooks is disliked by all the ranch hands because of his appearance. ...read more.


The other men, all loners and migrant workers could not could not understand the idea of a friendship between the two and wanted the dog dead as it was useless and a nuisance. Carlson, a ranch hand member shot the dog in the barn with his Lugar. In contrast, George and Lennie have each other and give a damn about one another. George and Lennie's friendship was formed by George promising to Lennie's aunt Clara that he will look after him. In the friendship I think that trust and respect have been developed. This is proven when Crooks asks Lennie what he would do without George? Lennie answers this question by replying "George wouldn't do nothing like that." At the end of the novel when he kills Lennie, George tries to give him a peaceful death with Lennie looking at the scenery and thinking about their dream of the ranch. George's actions suggest that they care about one another. John Steinbeck effectively expresses the theme of loneliness. This is conveyed through the setting and the characters. ...read more.

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