Theme Of Loneliness In Of Mice And Men

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“Maybe you can see now. You got George. You know he’s goin’ to come back” (Steinbeck 72). In Of Mice And Men, Steinbeck uses migrant workers such as George and Lennie to illustrate the loneliness experienced throughout the Great Depression. Steinbeck further uses these two main characters and others to show their differences and similarities to the typical traveling laborer. While in the Great Depression, people such as Candy, Crooks, and Lennie, all of whom struggle with loneliness in some sort of form because of being noticed. Their loneliness is caused by some sort of physical or mental trait that each of them possess causing hardships, Candy’s age threatens their future and has lost his hand, Crooks’ skin color segregates him, and Lennie’s mind is considered to be a child. Notably, Steinbeck reveals the theme of loneliness, through the isolation felt by Candy, Crooks, and Lennie.

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 feels 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 of him” (45). In this scene, Candy loses his best friend-his only friend- and this tragedy forced him to not only recognize just how much he relied on his dog for companionship, but also just how much his dog kept him going each day. At the same time, Candy is reminded that he’s growing older and not much of a use on the ranch anymore. In fact, after overhearing the plans of George and Lennie’ dream farm, Candy confides in George that he “... ain’t much good with on’y one hand” (59) and “he won’t have no place to go…” (61). Pleading to be
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