Of Mice and Men - Theme of Loneliness

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OF Mice and Men - Theme of Loneliness

Controlled Assessment - Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men’ is written by John Steinbeck. The novel is set in the 1930s during the great depression in California, America. Loneliness is the consistent theme running through the novel, relating as it does to the other themes namely: broken dreams and prejudice. Steinbeck illustrates through Curley's wife, Candy, and Crooks, three main characters of the novel the great negative effect of loneliness on humans. All the characters encounter and face problems and negative feelings due to their deep loneliness and isolation. This is counterbalanced very cleverly through the friendships between George and Lennie, two main characters in the novel. Furthermore the sense of belonging is proven throughout the novel to be vital to human happiness. George and Lennie are used as characters to depict the fate of workers in that time. They are two friends that travel and work together at a ranch and they also share the same dream: one day to own their own ranch. George is presented as an intelligent man that takes on the parental role of taking care of Lennie, a simple-minded individual but one with huge physical strength. From the very early stages of the novel the characters are shown to be very lonely when George says:“Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They belong in no place.” This fate is very common in the period of depression from the 1930 in America when workers would have to travel long distances, often on their own, in search of work. Even though loneliness is an accepted part of human life, George and Lennie are driven to try and find relief through their friendship in order to escape from loneliness as Lennie recalls:“We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us” and when he tells Slim about his friendship with George “ We kinda look after each other.” Loneliness can change somebody’s behaviour,...
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