How does Steinbeck present loneliness in the novel?

Topics: Of Mice and Men, Great Depression, Novella Pages: 3 (982 words) Published: October 19, 2014
How does Steinbeck present loneliness and isolation in the novel Of Mice and Men? Of Mice and Men is a short novel written by John Steinbeck and was published in 1937. The protagonist characters in the novel are George and Lennie and they were ranch workers who had a dream to own their own farm, they came from a place called Soledad which means ‘loneliness in Spanish.’ Steinbeck links the ideas of loneliness and isolation within the novel as the major themes relating to when he grew up in 1930’s America, specifically Soledad during the Great Depression. Steinbeck communicates these themes through the setting of the novel, through the characters including Curley’s wife and through the actions and events which take place throughout the novel. Loneliness is one of the primary themes in Of Mice and Men. Throughout the novel, John Steinbeck shows the enormous effect that loneliness has on the characters. Loneliness is heavily inflicted upon Candy, Crooks but mainly on Curley’s wife, they all have a common aspect which is that they are outsiders as Candy is disabled as a pose to the others being able to do a lot of jobs, Crooks is the only black person on the ranch whereas the others are white and Curley’s Wife is the only woman on the ranch. Steinbeck uses these characters to represent how different people where seen in the 1930’s including the disabled, woman and the black people. Firstly Curley’s wife is the character who shows the most significant signs on loneliness throughout the novel. Primarily she flirted with the men in the bunkhouse and also over dressed to act flirtatious to attract the men in the ranch. She wore ‘red nail polish’ in a working environment which shows how desperate she is to have someone to talk to. However there is a reason for this, on one hand Curley does not respect his wife and just abuses here which leaves here very lonely as she has no one in reality. This links to the idea of woman being segregated in the 1930’s. On the other hand...
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