How does Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?

Authors Avatar

How does Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men?

In Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck shows the reader that loneliness is something which none of the characters can escape from. Although the characters try to find companionship, Steinbeck makes it clear to the reader that looking for companionship can be a dangerous thing to do. The loneliness that the characters experience is typical of the loneliness of many ranch workers in 1930s America.

Steinbeck uses symbolism as a way to present the theme of loneliness. Many times in the novel, George is described as playing "solitaire." Solitaire is a game which is only played by one person. The fact that solitaire is a one player game shows the reader that the people on the ranch are all on their own and have no companions, showing the reader that they are lonely. In addition to this, Steinbeck calls the nearby town "Soledad." Soledad is a real town in America, but it means "loneliness" or "solitude" in Spanish. Steinbeck names the town "Soledad" to emphasise the point that the characters are lonely.

Join now!

Steinbeck also shows the reader that the characters are desperate to find a way out of their loneliness. In Section Three of the novel, Whir is keen to talk to George and Steinbeck tells us that Whit is "not interested in his cards." Whit is not interested in playing cards not long after the game has begun. This shows the reader that all Whit wants is someone to talk to talk to so, in this way, he wants to find a way out of his loneliness. This makes the reader sympathise with the characters on the ranch as it ...

This is a preview of the whole essay