How does Steinbeck present loneliness and isolation in the novel?
Of Mice and Men is set in the 1930’s during which time there was an economical depression, this made it hard for people to find work, save money and live a normal life. Many migrant workers started coming over from neighbouring countries like Mexico also in the hunt for jobs that were becoming harder to find as people took jobs to try and earn money for food. Racial prejudice was still a common thing in 1930’s America, Blacks were seen to be inferior and have no social status with any communities so this depression was even worse for them as they were still treated like slaves and nobody would give them work. Due to this depression people had to look further for work this often meant leaving their families and communities making them lonely and isolated. Working communities like the ranch in the novel had to work hard to ensure they kept their jobs.
Candy is the old handyman on the ranch he used to be a normal rancher but after loosing his hand in the machine he has been deemed almost useless and now has to clean the bunkhouse and keep everything in order. He has no social status within the community and he is very low down the pecking order as he is old and useless. Candy only has one companion; which is his old dog that never leaves his side. Candy’s main fear is that the boss will decide that he is too old and useless to work anymore and will can him so he spends nearly all the time worrying about getting canned. Steinbeck uses the dog to comparison to Candy as the dog represents Candy, he is old and useless and it reminds the reader the inevitable fate that awaits anybody who outlives there usefulness. Carlson decides its best for the dog to be shot, Candy tries to get him to change his mind but because of the lack of his social status he is unable to overrule Carlson’s decision this shows just how important it is to have a high social status within the community. Steinbeck creates...
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