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Analysis of Loneliness in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men - Loneliness Analysis John Steinbeck - the creator of the famous: Of Mice and Men, was born in 1902 in California; near Solidad. His family were quite wealthy, but he was interested in farm labouring, and this is how he materialised most of his stories. He wrote a number of novels about people that were farmers and yearned for better lifestyles including The Grapes of Wrath, which is a touching story about a family's struggle to escape the dust bowl of the West to reach California. Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, six years before his death in 1968. The title of the novel: Of Mice and Men, originates from a poem made by a Scottish poet named; Robert Burn. It comes from the line that says: "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, gang aft agley." From using a translated version of the poem, I induced that this means: The best-laid plans of mice and men often go askew. People can have enormous dreams, that they continue to plan how to get towards, but things have a way of falling apart and sometimes turning tragic. In my essay, I am going to talk about the main characters in Of Mice and Men, and I will discuss how each of the characters befriends loneliness. Of Mice and Men is one of the spectacular novella's which was written by John Steinbeck. It is about two men that go travelling together that come across many unworldly experiences. The first of the two men: Lennie Small - a large man - in contrast to his name, has broad shoulders and a large body frame. His companion, George Milton, is quite opposite, he is small and slim. Lennie also has a disability; this is the main reason why the two men go travelling 'together'. George is the brainpower of the two men and is a man that is just trying to live a normal life and earn a living. ...read more.


Every time Lennie does something slightly wrong, he becomes sad, because he has child-like thoughts, he is disheartened sourly by the fact that he will not get access to these soft and 'happy' animals. This shows his loneliness is deep within him. Even though he does not always show his depression - due to loneliness, like the other men, the way he reacts to George's encore of: "if you get into any kind of trouble, you remember what I told you to do," shows how desperate Lennie is to "tend the rabbits" - to keep him sane! Slim, the 'prince' of the ranch, describes George and Lennie as, "kinda funny." This demonstrates that the men on the ranch do not really know how it is like to have a travelling companion. Slim declares that, "Hardly none of the guys travel together." The isolation is clear because if none of the men are seen traveling with company, this means that none of the men have ever had a real friendship. However, George and Lennie are different - because they travel together, they stand out and defy the normal "ranch hands" behavior. George is forced to play solitaire to overcome boredom. The way in which this expresses loneliness is that George is playing a card game that is made for one person only. This shows his isolation from other's company. The loneliness of Carlson makes him become selfish, as he resorts to killing Candy's old dog. He does not like the idea of anyone having a companion, so makes the excuse that the dog is causing too much catastrophe by just existing. He says he does not know "nothing that stinks bad as an old dog." The way he comprehends this sentence suggests that Carlson does not really mind about the smell coming from the dog because he is categorizing all dogs. This indicates that he feels dogs in general smell; technically, he is not really pin-pointing the idea that Candy's dog is causing him grief. ...read more.


Lennie is near a pool waiting for George to arrive, so that the two men can flee to another 'ranch'. Then, George arrives disheartened and Lennie says immediately, "Tell me like you done before." Then George replies reluctantly, "Tell you what?" Lennie then says, "Bout the other guys an' about us." Then George starts to describe "how it's gonna be." George does not want Lennie to feel lonely when he dies so tells him to look across the forest, to make sure Lennie is not aware of the situation - and that his only companion dies peacefully. George shoots, and after, he feels very sad for killing Lennie, although does not feel regretful. His future now looks bleak, in terms of companionship. I believe the loneliest person on the ranch is the Boss. He is the character that gives orders to all of the workers around and just gets money coming in for doing practically no work. In accordance to this, he probably does not have much entertainment at home because he does not need to work for his money, because he is fortunate enough to have bought the ranch. The only time that we hear about the boss is when he is accepting George and Lennie's work slips. This promotes the idea that the Boss is not very included in the society of the ranch, and is therefore, more prone to getting lonely than the other men on the ranch. The workers can talk to other workers whilst they are keeping themselves busy working to make money. The boss is a typical leader that receives money for just having the title: 'Boss'. Furthermore, there is no mention of the boss having a wife in the book, so the only relative family that he has is Curley. This makes matters worse for the boss because Curley is always in town or looking for his wife. So explains why the Boss deserves the title: "loneliest being." ?? ?? ?? ?? Mike Weston Candidate No: 2013 Broadway School 1 ...read more.

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