Theme Of Loneliness In Of Mice And Men

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“A guy needs somebody- to be near him… don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you… I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick” (Steinbeck 72-73). Loneliness is a powerful theme in Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men. Set in the late 1930s during the Great Depression, many of his characters experience discrimination and isolation. In this novella, George and Lennie are migrant workers, and they arrive in Soledad, California, where they found a job. The only female on the ranch is married to Curley, the boss’s son; consequently, she is isolated and faces the prejudice attitudes of the men. Two other characters, Candy, the old swamper on the ranch, has only one hand, and Lennie, who is mentally slow, are also both discriminated against for their differences. Clearly, through the injustice felt by Candy, Curley’s wife and Lennie in, the theme of loneliness is revealed. In chapter three in Of Mice and Men, 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 dog’s suffering: “I had him so long. Had him since he was a pup… You
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