Theme Of Loneliness Of Mice And Men

Topics: Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, Great Depression Pages: 3 (604 words) Published: October 18, 2015


There are several themes present in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, among them powerlessness and the impossibility of the American dream. Although these two themes definitely make up a fair portion of the story, they are not the subject of this paper. Nay, for standing prominently alongside these themes is loneliness, which is indisputably one of the most major concepts explored in the duration of the story. The theme of loneliness is thoroughly fleshed out through both characters – specifically Lennie and Curley's wife – and the involvement of migrant workers in general.
Though most characters in the story struggle with loneliness, Lennie stands out among them. One could argue that Lennie is always with George; hence, he doesn't exactly...

Because Curley is so hostile, all the other men on the ranch refuse to even be alone in a room with her. Everyone believes her to be nothing but a scandal waiting to happen. In fact, she's so abhorred by the other characters that she's never even warranted a proper name. Her lack of companions and conversations creates a desolate and monotonous existence, and time and time again throughout the story, Curley's wife is seen seeking someone to talk to. Unfortunately, as Curley's wife herself puts it, “I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely” (86). Her loneliness in particular drives perhaps the most critical event in the story: her own death. Her lust for social interaction compels her to sit and make conversation with Lennie in the barn shortly after his accidental killing of the puppy. Delighted to finally have someone to talk to, Curley's wife permits Lennie to feel the softness of her hair. This decision led to Lennie snapping her...

It can be inferred from the dialogue in the story that migrant workers are traditionally solitary creatures. Characters reference the peculiarity of how Lennie and George travel together several times. Moreover, it is considered outlandish, even laughable, that Lennie and George have any ambitions at all. It isn't an excruciating task at all to see why they would think this way, though. In Crooks's room, the characters wind up squabbling over the attainability of Candy, Lennie, and George's dream, and Curley's wife interjects, “if you had two bits in the worl', why you'd be gettin' two shots of corn and suckin' the bottom of the glass. I know you guys” (79). Taking into account that such behavior is typical of migrant workers, one can comprehend with ease how the involvement of migrant workers would solidify loneliness as a theme.
Even though one could argue powerlessness and the impossibility of the American dream are as strong in the story as loneliness, the evidence speaks for itself. Between Lennie's alienating condition, Curley's wife's lonesome situation, and emphasis upon migrant workers, the result is borderline indisputable: loneliness is perhaps the most unwavering theme of them...
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