Essay on The Theme of Loneliness in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

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The idea of solitude is a strong theme held throughout the entire novel "Of Mice and Men". Without it, many of the key events that occur in the book would not have happened, for example, the death of Curley’s wife, which eventually lead to the unfortunate death of Lennie. To begin with, the overall atmosphere created by the author implies a sense of loneliness. ‘Soledad’, the setting of the book, means loneliness in Spanish, and many hints, such as the numerous games of ‘solitaire’ played, also refer back to the theme, as it a word that sounds familiar to solitary, meaning isolated. The contrasting effects of the first section, with the description of a beautiful scenery, broken by the sound of the highway, also creates a sense of…show more content…
On the ranch, she is the only woman, so she is even more alone, and her desire to become a movie star has lead her to dress in ‘red dresses’ and ‘red shoes’, or as the Candy might say – ‘tart’. She is recognized as ‘jailbait’ amongst the ranchers, as she is viewed as Curleys’ property. All these issues combined create a woman who desperate seeks a friend to talk to, and when Lennie arrives on the ranch, she finally finds a person to talk to, who won’t judge her by the way she looks. However, by doing so, she helplessly dies, finally achieving the attention she always craved. Another character, Crooks, also is left solitary. He is the only black man on the ranch, and therefore considered different. His name is a reflection of he ‘crooked’ back, and unlike the other ranchers, he shares a room with but himself. He is referred to as ‘Nigger’, although the ranchers do not realise it is a derogatory term, which is highly offensive. He is ‘not allowed to play deck hands’ with the rest of the ranchers, and in the end, he resorts to reading the ‘Californian civil rights code’ and a ‘dictionary’, but even these are not replacements for friends – ‘Books ain’t no good- a guy needs somebody to be near him’. Years of solitude have caused Crooks to become a very bitter and cynical individual, which is noticed when he tries to discourage
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