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This essay will discuss how Steinbeck presents loneliness within the first 3 sections of "Of Mice and Men".

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Introduction

LONELINESS ?Of Mice and Men? is a book depicting the effects of the 1930 Great Depression. Unemployment rates were at their height. Workers were constantly travelling around the country, moving from job to job, which left them no time to bond or build relationships with their fellow workers. A key theme running through the book is loneliness, symbolised by the place where the novella is set, the town of Soledad, which means ?solitude?. The theme of loneliness is explored in a variety of different ways and in a highly sophisticated and nuanced fashion. Loneliness is shown as occurring in people for a number of different reasons, for example racism, social rejection, etc. ...read more.

Middle

The use of the phrase ?guy on a ranch? suggests that ranch workers, as a collective unit, are lonely. This attitude is brought out earlier in the book when George says: ?Guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world?. Steinbeck conveys the idea that all ranch workers are lonely, and for a man to keep to himself is the social norm. Another character who is portrayed as very lonely is Curly?s wife but for very different reasons. Curly?s wife seeks the attention of any man she meets. She is the only women on the ranch and feels mistreated by her husband. She tries to flirt with the other men perhaps to make Curly feel small and neglected, or maybe because she feels lonely and isolated on the ranch. ...read more.

Conclusion

You can?t keep a job and you lose me every job I get?, his care for Lennie is highlighted by his adamant request for Lennie to stay with him when he threatens to leave him; ? no look I was just fooling!? - the imperative shows the urgency and plea and the punctuation emphasises this. This desperate plea for Lenny to stay with suggests that they George does really want to be with him, regardless of what he says. However their relationship is ambiguous. Although George shows affection towards Lennie, he often talks about wanting to be alone. In portraying George?s desire for solitude, Steinbeck shows that solitude and loneliness are different things. Solitude is not necessarily always a bad thing yet loneliness is. In conclusion, I believe that not all of the characters in ? Of Mice and Men? are lonely although loneliness is a major theme in the novella. ...read more.

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