How Does Steinbeck Present Loneliness and Isolation in the Novel

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How does Steinbeck present loneliness and isolation in the novel?

Steinbeck presents the concepts of loneliness and isolation in the novel in various ways. He uses the characters, action and the setting as devices to demonstrate the loneliness in the novel.

Steinbeck uses the setting of the book to show the theme of isolation and loneliness in the book. An example of Steinbeck using the setting to demonstrate the loneliness in the book is Steinbeck’s description of Soledad is key to the portrayal of the ranch as being basically in the middle of nowhere. The significance of the ranch being in the middle of nowhere is that the theme of loneliness and isolation runs throughout the novel and the fact that the ranch is isolated to just adds to the theme. Lennie and George both share a dream to live on a ranch, again isolated from society, the dream is that Lennie and George would buy a country house and then live off of the land not relying on anyone. The fact that even the dreams of the main two characters are living away from society.

The use of the characters is key to the presentation of isolation and loneliness in the book. The three main characters Steinbeck uses for the purpose of presenting the theme of loneliness are Curley’s wife, Crooks (the black stable buck) and Candy. Curley’s wife is the only woman on the ranch and she is often seen in the book wondering around the ranch mischievously looking for the men seeking their attention, from this we can infer that in the 1930’s women were still being treated as possessions and that women would have been very lonely at the time. another thing that indicates to us that women weren’t treated as equal to men at the time is that Curleys wife is simply referred to Curleys wife. Because of the fact that Curley’s wife is the only woman on the ranch it causes her to be isolated in that she has no other women to be with in a society of working class men. Another character that is used to infer the isolation and...
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