How does Steinbeck present loneliness in ‘of mice and men’?

Topics: Great Depression, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: October 12, 2013
How does Steinbeck present loneliness in ‘of mice and men’? During the Great Depression in the 1930s in the USA many migrant workers went to California in search of work. In the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck deals with the loneliness which affected these characters. One of the main symbols of this, is the setting of the novel is in Soledad, which translated from Spanish means solitude. Steinbeck point to the cause of loneliness being from discrimination, and the loneliest person on the working ranch would likely be the black stable buck “Crooks”, this is proved by his actions and his attempts to make friends. You first understand him when he expresses his loneliness to Lennie, “a guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick”. (page 82) This indicates he has become mentally ill due to his extreme loneliness in his room. As an African American he is not allowed into the bunk house or to play cards with the white ranchers. Crooks tells Lennie it is “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 of you stink to me.” (page 77) This shows that he longs to join them in playing cards and feels bitter and angry that he can’t. This was a very racist time in America. Crooks was the only black person on the ranch and there was only one other black family in the area. As Crooks says “If I say something it is just a nigger sayin’ it.” (page 80) Crooks at first turns Lennie away from his room saying “you got no right to come in my room.” (page 77) but due to Lennie’s ‘disarming smile’ (page 77) he gives in and invites him in. When Crooks realises about the dream of the farm he wants to be part of it, offering to work for nothing. “If you…guys would want a hand to work for nothing – just his keep, why I’d come an’ lend a hand. I ain’t so crippled I can’t work like a...
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