How does the author John Steinbeck portray loneliness and isolation in the novel "Of Mice And Men"?

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Katie Roberts

How does the author John Steinbeck portray loneliness and isolation in the novel "Of Mice And Men"?

John Steinbeck published the novel ‘Of Mice And Men’ in the 1930’s in Soledad. Steinbeck’s purpose of the novel "Of Mice And Men" is to indicate to the readers just how life was as a migrant worker in America in the 1930's, when America fell into The Great Depression. Steinbeck also wanted to show how lonely and isolated the workers got whilst traveling to ranches and working.

In The novel Steinbeck has created many characters that lead lonely and isolated lives, all of them follow a dream of having a better life and future, but none of their dreams come true all are shattered when things go badly and go back to where they begin. Another one of the characters created by Steinbeck enters the novel already leading a lonely life and hopes this will increase the chances of getting back to where she once was.

In the novel the ranch workers lifestyles sound happy and cheerful when they actually aren’t, they had to work on a schedule. In the Novel it mentions that the workers are playing Solitaire, “ George cut the cards again and put out a solitaire lay…” Solitaire is a one-player card game so this also emphasizes loneliness, as they must have to be on their own a lot to have to play one-player games.    

In the novel the author has produced two lonely characters that both depend on each other to achieve the dreams which they have dreamt would happen, so they can get away from the miserable life they live whilst on the ranch. George and Lennie follow a father and son like relationship, “Lennie, for God’ sakes don’t drink so much”, this shows us that George is leading the father role and looking out for Lennie.

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George leads a lonely life, as he isn’t able to lead the life he wants to, both him and Lennie go from one ranch to another trying to find work to save money for their dreams. Lennie was isolated from being able to talk to people as George felt he would not be accepted if they heard how mentally immature he was. “ Jesus, he’s jes’ like a kid, ain’t he?”

Lennie thinks that the only person he can trust and talk to is George, but this is probably due to the way in which George has controlled him and ...

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