Discuss the theme of loneliness in “Of Mice and Men”
The novel ‘Of Mice and Men,’ by John Steinbeck, is about two men who are brought together and share few good times, such as each others company, and the more overwhelmingly the bad times. Both men fight the loneliness that was ramped during the Depression. The story begins in the foothills of Salinas, California, in the middle of the Great Depression. Throughout this entire novel, there are many examples of loneliness. Steinbeck stresses the theme of loneliness through the characters working on the ranch, particularly Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife. There is one simple, immensely strong yet gentle man named Lennie, who has the mental age of a child; the other is George, a quick witted clever man with a lot of bitterness and anger. In fact, in the opening chapters of the book they are described with animal traits- Lennie is reminiscent of a huge, loveable yet unintelligent dog, who will usually only do what is commanded of him. At one point a direct simile is used, describing him as being "like a terrier who doesn't want to bring his ball back to his master". George is likened to a slight sharp creature like the fox- with all the fox's cunning. This quote shows this : "The first man [George] was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features. Every part of him was defined: small, strong hands, slender arms, a thin and bony nose." The background to their story is a problematic one- George and Lennie had to flee their previous ranch in a place called Weed when Lennie was accused of raping a young girl. What had actually happened was, due partly to his mental age, Lennie had reached out to touch the girl's dress- when she had screamed he had panicked and held on. George arrived and found this happening, before pulling Lennie off and dragging him off to hide in one of the irrigation ditches before absconding.
George's loneliness is fairly understandable- he has been given the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document