Of Mice and Men Loneliness Essay Summary

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Loneliness

As a result of the Wall Street crash and great depression, 1930’s America had become a place of hardship, cruelty and isolation. The desperate search for work and ‘survival of the fittest’ ideology resulted in a loss of community and a fractured society, men travelled alone in search of work and the compassionate nature of humanity was lost. It was during this period that John Steinbeck set his novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ in an attempt to critique this damaging lifestyle. Summary

Curley’s wife
Not accepted by men - we find out about her before we even meet her to fully understand the highly negative opinion that the other ranch workers have of her

Despite her marriage to Curley - no feelings within their relationship

Absence of a name – proves lack of respect

During the gathering in Crooks’ room her dialogue proves her desperation for friendship and company, also the negative effect that loneliness can have on humanity as she feels the need to oppress and criticize those weaker than herself

The description at the end ensures the audience can sympathise with her

Crooks
He is constantly oppressed by the other ranch workers being described only as a ‘nigger’

‘Boss gives him hell when he’s mad’ and ‘let the nigger come in’ – reveals his low status

He tries to tell Lennie that he has ‘no right to come in (his) room’ but eventually gives in to loneliness

reveals his loneliness directly explaining that ‘a guy needs somebody – to be near him’ and ‘a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick’

asks to ‘work for nothing’ on the farm they dream of owning – proves his desperation

Candy
Steinbeck uses the dog as a metaphor for the weak and useless in 1930’s America

Candy’s dog and Lennie died presenting relationships as unrealistic

His desperation can be seen through his wish to ‘get that little place’ even after the death of Curley’s wife.

In the novel Steinbeck attempts to criticize loneliness revealing the negative impact...
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