Two Lives of Solitude in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay

Decent Essays

At some point in one’s life there is not only contentment or grief, but a state of loneliness. Loneliness is a part of human life, although some suffer from isolation more than others. Being lonely can lead to depression or create a different persona in oneself. Struggling through isolation can eventually kill one’s soul, expecting no hope or ending up in dangerous situations. The novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck portrays the theme of loneliness especially through two characters. Crooks and Curley’s wife experience the state of isolation as they crave for a friend or someone they can talk with. Steinbeck urges readers to feel pathos when analyzing Crooks and Curley’s wife through the nature of their isolation, their actions and …show more content…

Because of her mother, she had to marry Curley. For this reason, she is isolated on the ranch and has to live a lonely life. On the other hand, Crooks also tells Lenny about his past. “‘The white kids came to play at our place, an’ was pretty nice. My ol’ man didn’t like that. But I know now” (70). Crooks understands segregation through his childhood stories and his father. Now that he recognizes discrimination, he knows that he has to live a isolated life on the ranch because of his skin color. In a way, both characters end up in extreme loneliness because of their parents. Curley’s wife wants to be an actress and Crooks wants to be treated equally and longs for a better relationship with white men. Their aspirations are all shattered because they are isolated. Additionally, both speak to Lenny about their past. The effects of these factors leads them to a lonely life on the ranch and affects them emotionally and physically. Loneliness affects Crooks and Curley’s wife through their actions and how they live. Curley’s wife is portrayed as a sexual and inappropriate woman to other men in the novella because of her makeup and behavior. Her makeup is a mask covering her real self –lonely and living a life of solitude. Even though she is married, not once do we see Curley’s wife and her husband together. Curley is going to a whore house every Saturday and his wife acts subtle about it. We

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