Theme of Loneliness in Of Mice and Men

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Loneliness is the feeling of isolation - Steinbeck achieves this theme by portraying effectively through key fictional characters in ‘Of Mice and Men’. By living in the town of ‘Soledad’ (Spanish for loneliness), the audience gets an overwhelming sense of the depressing environment that the migrant workers are living through by their repetitive lifestyle and the consequences they face through the Great Depression (1930’s – 1940’s) and the Dustbowl. Even through hard work and prosperity the American dream is unattainable. The four loneliest personas in this novel are Curley’s wife, Crooks, Candy and George + Lennie. Even though they all want to strive for success, and achieve the American dream: the idealistic fantasy of individual freedom, independence and self-reliance they all have to face loneliness to get there. The theme loneliness is most bitter in Crook’s character. Crooks was introduced in chapter 4 and the first word used to describe him: the negro clearly tells us that he is isolated due to race which leads us to the theme of loneliness, in those days black people were always separated and discriminated because of the segregation law. He is also housed with the animals treating him like he is one of them. This is shown by Steinbeck’s language of setting as Crooks lives in a ‘little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn’ to indicate that he is weak to survive in the world. He also has ‘a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905’ which conveys that despite Crooks being motivated and strong to achieving a prosperous life, his life will never be the same. The past has gone behind him and nothing can protect him from his isolation and loneliness. Although Steinbeck shows that loneliness has made Crooks bitter by putting Candy and Lennie in the same position as he is making Lennie think if ’s’pose you don’t have nobody’ As well as this, his race makes him more vulnerable and exposed to others easily. "S'pose you didn't have nobody....
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