Loneliness in of Mice and Men

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8. Loneliness is a very important theme in Of Mice and Men. Which characters are lonely and why?
Of Mice and Men illustrates the loneliness of ranch life during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Steinbeck creates a lonely and a blue atmosphere at many times in the novel. He uses words ‘Soledad’ which is referred to solitude, which means loneliness; and the card game ‘Solitare’ which means by one’s self. Not all the characters are lonely; Steinbeck makes it clear that only Crooks, Curley’s wife and Candy are the lonely characters in the ranch.

The loneliest character is Crooks. He is isolated from the other ranchers because of his race. He isn’t allowed to join any social activities at the ranch and is completely left out alone. He’s so lonely that he considers reading books to accompany him. Even though he doesn’t show it, he is desperate to have someone to talk to. When Lennie comes in his room, Crooks just keeps on talking to him and doesn’t care whether he was listening or not. Crooks says to Lennie “A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't matter no difference who the guy is, longs he with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.” This shows that he desperately needs a friend to talk to and he’s at the point where he is becoming emotionally sick of it. Crooks also says “An' never a God damn one of `em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever'body wants a little piece of lan'. It's just in their head.” This shows that he has no hope for a bright future and that he doesn’t believe that the men from the ranch are ever going to a better place.

The second loneliest is Candy, an old swamper at the ranch who is disabled due to an accident in the past. His only companionship is his ancient dog, until Carlson shoots it for him because it is old and useless, just like Candy. Later on in the novel, he wishes he should have shot the dog himself, which is similar to the ending of the novel. When his dog dies, he looks for new friendship, he doesn’t...
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