How Does Steinbeck Explore the Theme of Loneliness in of Mice and Men

Topics: Of Mice and Men, Novella, John Steinbeck Pages: 4 (1369 words) Published: February 24, 2013
How does Steinbeck explore the theme of loneliness in “Of Mice and Men”
In “Of Mice and Men”, the theme of loneliness is central to the novel. It is introduced to the reader at the very start of the novel i.e. the first time that we see George and Lennie they are walking apart – “they had walked in single file down the path and even in the open one stayed behind the other”. Throughout the novel we see that everyone is lonely and it seems that the description of George and Lennie at the start of the novel, almost prepare the reader for the lonely lifestyles of all the other characters in the novel. The main theme in the novel seems to be loneliness and Steinbeck explores the different ways this affects the other characters in the novel i.e. George is lonely in a different way to Lennie and so the theme of loneliness is shown in a different aspect.

George and Lennie are both migrant workers travelling around the country looking for work. However even though they are travelling together and have each other for companionship, they are both still lonely. George is alone in his responsibility in looking after Lennie. There is no one to help him and he is weary of the lifestyle he is living – “If I didn’t have you I could have it easy”. This reveals that sometimes he wishes that Lennie wasn’t there so he could live like everybody else and enjoy the same freedom as other men. “I could go get a job an’ work an’ no trouble” – this reinforces the fact that George wants what all other men have got and that he is fed up of having to keep moving around every time Lennie gets in trouble. Lennie is lonely because he has no family to look after him (his Aunt Clara is dead and there is no mention of his parents- they may have abandoned him because of his disability) and he is completely reliant on George to look after him. However he is isolated from George because of his disability. He is lonely in his own world where no one can truly access him or understand him however much...
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