Of Mice and Men

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How does Steinbeck explore the theme of loneliness in ‘Of Mice and Men’?

Introductory Paragraph

Avoid a lengthy introduction – try to make at least one point in your introduction. Do not waffle!

You may wish to discuss how loneliness is first introduced to the reader:

• Soledad
• Description of setting
• Body language of George and Lennie as they walk in single file as opposed to side by side.

The above are almost early warning signs preparing the reader for a story saturated in loneliness.

Main Body

You should consider the following in light of the question:

George – Loneliness in his responsibility and obligation to Lennie, weary of the lifestyle of a ranch hand. Lennie – Lonely in his own world where no one can truly access him or understand him, although George tries. Curley’s Wife – Lack of identity, strives for attention, unhappy marriage, broken/lost dreams, the only woman on the ranch. Curley – Unhappy marriage, ‘small man syndrome’, status above ranch hands means he is not one of the men and is resented by them due to his aggression and attitude. Crooks – Isolated due to race, physically segregated, frustrated, housed with the animals. Candy – Only trusted companion shot dead because of old age and decay, feeling of worthlessness, no longer of use and therefore no longer one of the pack, buys into George and Lennie’s dream and is devastated when it is lost to him. Ranch hands – Nomadic lifestyle, wandering from one job to the next to earn enough money to spend time in a ‘cat house’ and ease their weary bodies with alcohol.

Take a personal approach to your writing; your essay should reflect your thoughts and feelings in relation to the topic rather than your teacher’s. Use phrases to highlight your own opinion such as:

• It seems clear to me that…
• I think…
• In my opinion…

Refer to your notes relating to the question. You should explore how loneliness affects the characters within the novel...
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