Of Mice and Men (Loneliness)

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"Of Mice and Men" essay on Loneliness is a basic part of human life. Every one becomes lonely once in a while but in Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men", he illustrates the loneliness of ranch life in the early 1930's and shows how people are driven to try and find friendship in order to escape from loneliness. Steinbeck creates a lonely and blue atmosphere at many times in the book. He uses names and words such as the town near the ranch called "Soledad", which means loneliness and the card game "Solitaire" Which means by ones self. He makes it clear that all the men on the ranch are lonely, with particular people lonelier than others. In the opening chapter, Steinbeck introduces the idea of loneliness and men who work on ranches living temporary lives, with no aim in life. Steinbeck uses the setting to convey these ideas. As they were walking along the path, it is described as " a path beaten by hard boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water" (p.18) This creates a setting and shows how men who work on the ranch have had temporary, isolated and lonely lives. He also writes "an ash-pile made by many fires" (p.18) This shows that many men must have walked through this road to enter a lonely and miserable life, moving from ranch to ranch finding useless work. I think all the people living in the ranch are lonely. This proves this where Steinbeck describes the bunk house where all the workers sleep. "Over each bunk there was nailed an apple box with the opening forward so that it made two shelves for personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk." (p38) The way Steinbeck describes the bunkhouse indicates their lonely lives. Also by only having two shelves for their personal belongings shows their lonely insecure lives. However, there are particular people in the ranch who have lonelier lives than others. The loneliest person on the ranch has to be Crooks, who suffers from extreme loneliness because he is black and he is living in a ranch and the surrounding area which is very racist. He lives by himself, because the other men do not like him. He does not take part in any of the social activities in the ranch and is left out completely. He is so lonely that he turns to books, which soon becomes boring and he will become lonely again. He is so desperate for company and for someone to talk, even though he does not really show it. When Lennie comes into his room he just talks and doesn't care if Lennie is listening or not, because he is so desperate. 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" (p.105) This shows that he desperately needs a friend to talk to and he is at the point where he is becoming emotionally sick of it. In a way this point made by Crooks shows that George and Lennie support each other from being very lonely, even if Lennie is as thick as an ape, he still disables George from being lonely. George and Lennie have something which all the men on the ranch envy and that is friendship. Crooks calls Lennie "nuts" and does not believe that Lennie will own his own land with George and Candy. He exclaims "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." (p.106) This shows that he has no hope for the future and that he has no belief in men from that ranch going to heaven or a better place.

Crooks is probably the loneliest character in the ranch with Curley's wife. There are two characters that we never get to know the name, they are the boss and Curley's wife. The boss does not seem to be friends with any of the men, maybe to keep his place as higher than everyone else, or in case he has to sack one of the workers. However, there is prove that he is not friendly person as he does not...
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