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What has Steinbeck said so far about loneliness?

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Introduction

What has Steinbeck said so far about loneliness? Loneliness is a theme of "Of Mice and Men." The life of a worker on a ranch was hard, and often lonely. George and Lennie are notable exceptions to the rule. Most ranch workers travelled around alone, causing Slim to comment "I hardly seen two guys travel together." The boss comments "Well, I never seen one guy take so much trouble for another guy." This is also reflected in the accounts of George and Lennie's dream: "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place." ...read more.

Middle

Crooks looks back to the past, describing how "My old man had a chicken ranch, 'bout ten acres. The white kids come to play at our place, an' sometimes I went to play with them, an' some of them was pretty nice." Crooks, the stable buck is a particularly lonely character. He is black, and a cripple and consequently isolated from the rest of the workers. He says to Lennie "They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me". He understands the problem of loneliness, and cynically suggests that this is the only reason why George and Lennie stay together "George can tell you screwy things, and it don't matter. It's just the talking. It's just bein' with another guy. ...read more.

Conclusion

His tone "invited confidence without demanding it." Loneliness breeds misery and bad-nature in the ranch workers. George comments that "They don't have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin' to fight all the time." Although George has Lennie's companionship, it is clear that he is also lonely. In Chapter three George confides in Slim. Steinbeck notes that "He wanted to talk." George was understandably unable to share real conversation with Lennie; and needed to talk about Lennie. Steinbeck describes how "George's voice was taking on the tone of confession." The very fact that George shares the dream - he "sat entranced with his own picture" after describing it - shows that George is also lonely. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rosalind Brock 11R ...read more.

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