Of Mice and Men - Loneliness

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In terms of emotional stability, there is only one thing in life that is really needed and that is friends. Without friends, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude. Loneliness leads to low self-esteem and deprivation. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, the characters, Crooks, Candy, and Curly's wife all exhibit some form of loneliness. They are driven towards the curiosity of George and Lennie's friendship because they do not have that support in their life. Through his novel, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck demonstrates that often times, a victim of isolation will have a never-ending search to fulfill a friendship.

"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" (Steinbeck, 13)

Crooks is a black man that experiences isolation because the society in which he resides is racist. As a result, the previous quote was his means of finding a personal connection to Lennie. Like Lennie, Crooks has a ‘relationship' with loneliness. He knows that when people get lonely, they tend to get sick. Studies show that people who suffer from loneliness have higher incidence of health problems. This can be determined based on his emotional behavior. "A 1998 study showed that 50 percent of patients with heart disease who reported feeling very isolated were not married and had no one in whole they could communicate with, died within five years." (ub-counseling.buffalo.edu) At the rate Crooks is headed, he will probably die in a short period of time. Gerontology stated "seniors, who attend church at least weekly, live longer than those who don't." By attending church, the attendees maintain a relationship with god and have the ability to relieve themselves of loneliness. They can deal with their severe problem of loneliness through attending church or other social events and in turn, live longer. Crooks is rejected from every group of people and cannot socially interact with others.

"Loneliness can result from rejection…" (Couns.uiuc.edu/loneline.htm) Although discrimination is still present during the time period of the book (early 20th century), Crooks still attempts to make friends. Others treat Crooks unjust because he is different from others given that he is black. He does not know how to treat others because of the way others treat him; with disrespect. Furthermore, he does not know how to vent his frustration and as a result, lashes out at others because they are cruel to him. Crooks is not allowed to participate in daily events with white people. He is treated unfairly and therefore acts the same way toward the white people (the ones who offended him.)

"Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm Black. They say I stink. Well I tell you, you all stink to me!" (Steinbeck, 75)

Nobody likes to be forced to live in a barn, let alone to work only with the horses. Crooks spent most of his nights reading and he keeps away from others because of the way he is treated and this eventually leads to his very own emotional downfall. He is treated as an outcast and is forced to find friendship the only way he can, through the books that he reads. The Counseling Center of the University of Buffalo said that: "When you are alone, use the time to enjoy yourself. For example, listen to music or watch a favorite television show. Do not spend the time eating endlessly or worrying about your problems." (Karlene Robinson, www.ub-counseling.buffalo.edu) Obviously Crooks is aware of his problem and tries to cope with it through books and magazines.

Crooks is fascinated by the strength of the friendship of Lennie and George, especially how close they are. Crooks said, "Well, s'pose, jus' s'pose he don't come back. What'll you do then?" (Steinbeck, 79) Crooks asks these questions because he does not have any friends. He was curious about the friendship of Lennie and George. He wants the...
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