Discuss Steinbeck's Presentation of Loneliness in “of Mice and Men”

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Throughout the novel loneliness is the major theme. Most of the characters are lonely because they have no family. George and Lennie, however, have a bond with each other that is strong and well represented. Candy and his dog are like the metaphor for George and Lennie. Candy has to take care of his dog in the same way that George has to look after Lennie. The other two main characters in the book that are part of the theme of loneliness are Curley’s wife, the flirtatious city girl, and Crooks, the crippled “stable buck.” Crooks’ fits into the loneliness theme due to his race. In the Great Depression they was very little racial empathy. So being black means that he is an outcast and isolated from everyone else at the ranch. Curley’s wife also feels isolated due to being the only woman on the ranch and because her husband makes her feel isolated. He does not like her to talk to other men and he is concerned about her flirting; this drives her to be even more flirtatious.

The dream of owning a farm and “livin’ off the fatta the lan’” originally started as a story that George told Lennie to keep him quiet but as Lennie always wants to hear the story it keeps the dream alive. George was retelling this story in the bunkhouse when Candy overheard it. Candy has fears that he is going to be asked to leave as he already has one crippled hand and when that time comes he will have nowhere to go and no one to go to. This is frightening for him so that is why he wants to be part of the dream. Despite George and Lennie’s enormous friendship, if they were to lose each other they would be just like the other lonely guys with “no one that gives a damn about.” I believe that that is their greatest fear of all time, losing their friendship. George sometimes feels as though taking care of Lennie is a chore because Lennie can be a real handful. Lennie is in need of a lot of help due to being very child like and George is his main care giver. The strong bond that George and Lennie...
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