Of Mice and Men is set in 1930’s America during the Great Depression. In this time men were very hard pushed to find work and many spent time at ranches doing manual labour. These men often had travel far from where they would call home, also they would constantly be on the move from ranch to ranch. Even though this job didn’t make much money it was the best people had and it was enough to survive on. The two main characters in this novel, Lennie and George, are both in this position. However one thing sets them apart from other men of this time; they are travelling together. I see this as a way of avoiding isolation and bringing companionship into a world of solitude.
There are many other characters in this novel who are experiencing such isolation. Although the reasons for loneliness differ for each character it always comes down to the time period and place that they are in. An underlying trend in this book is the constant striving against the continuous loneliness that has been forced on them by bad fortune and harsh circumstances.
Steinbeck emphasises these themes throughout the book even the nearby town, Soledad, actually means Solitude in Spanish. Also the location which the reader is being told about rarely changes, the only exceptions of this are then end and the beginning of the book, during the rest of the book the reader stays within the ranch.
Within the first few pages of the book Steinbeck brings in his two main characters, Lennie and George. These two men are very different from each other in every way, Lennie is large and is referred to more than once in the book as “cuckoo” and stupid; Whereas on the other hand George is small yet intelligent and witty. Lennie has a habit of stroking soft things, however this comes back to haunt him later on in the book.
Although first introduced as two travelling ranch workers we can soon see what makes these two different and... [continues]
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(2010, 10). Mice & Men - Isolation and Loneliness. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Mice-Men-Isolation-And-458810.html
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