English 10 H
November 20, 2012
Lonely and Deadly
Companionship is a necessary factor in life for all because it provides a sense of empathy towards fellow humans. When one is deprived of close human relationships, he or she has no one to look to for support, resulting in bottled up emotions, which leads to bitterness and anger. In his novella Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck reveals how the lack of companionship causes one to become insensitive and even cruel towards others through the actions of the lonely men on the ranch who are apathetic from being alone for so long. Steinbeck uses diction and characterization while recounting Carlson’s insensitive heartless shooting of Candy’s dog to portray the indifference that occurs in the lonely lives of the men residing on the ranch. Although Carlson senses the old man’s discomfort, he persists in asking Candy to shoot the dog, and brushes off Candy’s “uneasy” look (Steinbeck 47). Instead of showing compassion and respecting Candy’s attachment to his dog, Carlson pushes the matter and instructs Candy to “get it over with” (47). Carlson cannot relate to the bond that Candy shares with his dog because Carlson does not enjoy an intimate friendship in his own life. Steinbeck utilizes characterization to present Carlson as a pushy man who only considers his own feelings and disregards those of others. Because he is so alone, he does not have anyone to reprimand him for this behavior and continues to act in a selfish manner. Steinbeck additionally uses diction to describe Candy as possessing a “hopeful” tone as he believes that Carlson will see his distress and reconsider shooting the dog (47). However, after being continually pestered by Carlson, who will not give up until he gets his way, Candy “hopelessly” gives in to the demands and lets his companion be taken away and shot (47). Carlson tries to persuade Candy by asserting that “it won’t hurt him [the dog] none at all” (47). Carlson...
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