The Theme Of Loneliness In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck

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“‘A guy needs somebody-to be near him.’ He whined, ‘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,’ he cried, ‘I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick”’(Steinbeck 72-73). Lennie and George are two migrant workers during the Great Depression in the 1930’s who travel to a farm in California to work where they meet many people including Candy, Curley's wife and Cooks. All three of these characters are discriminated against, whether it be through ageism, sexism, or racism. Notably, the theme of loneliness is revealed in John Steinbecks novella Of Mice and Men through the isolation felt by Candy, Curley's wife, and Crooks.

In chapter three, an older migrant worker called Candy explains to George how he lost his hand on the ranch and was compensated with a “swampin” job and 250 dollars. Because of Candy’s older age, readers can infer that he has outlived many of his friends and family members; consequently, Candy fels all alone and longs to find a “family”before he dies. Knowing that Candy doesn't have any remaining family helps the audience understand why he struggled so much with Carlson’s proposal to end his dogs suffering: “‘I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup...You wouldn't think it to look at him now, but he was the best damn sheep dog I ever seen’”(44). And moments later after Slim supported Carlson’s decision to shoot the pup, Candy added, “‘Maybe it’d hurt him...I don't mind takin care
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