The Theme of Loneliness in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
The name of the author of this novel is John Steinbeck. He wrote this
novel in 1936 and it was published in 1937. The novel is set in a
ranch, which is near the town of Soledad, California. Steinbeck got
the name for his novel from a poem by Robert Burns called "To a mouse,
on turning her up in her nest with the plough. At the time this novel
was written America was in the period of the Great Depression. This
meant people could not find many permanent jobs and so had to travel
around the country looking for work. This meant that the workers were
sometimes away from their families for a long time ...view middle of the document...
I wasn't drunk. I don't know if I was asleep.
If some guy was with me, he could tell me I was asleep, an' then it
would be all right. But I just don't know." This shows that Crooks has
been on his own for too long, and now he is not even sure of what is
real and what is not. Crooks does not have any dreams because he has
been at the ranch for a long time and has seen many people's dreams
Another person who is lonely is Candy's wife. She is lonely because
she is a woman and so none of the men really talk to her. Also because
she is the only woman on the ranch she has no other women to talk to
either. This means she gets very lonely, however she does try talk to
the men sometimes, but this has a bad affect. This is because the men
think she is some type of whore or a slut who is trying to manipulate
or use them in some way. This is unfair on Curly's wife because they
do not know her and all she wants is some company. Also Curly's wife
is from the city and so does not know how to do the ranch work and so
she usually has to stay in the house on her own. Candy does not like
Curly's wife because he thinks she is a tart. The ranch in the novel
is near a town called Soledad, however because there are no buildings
or people very close to the ranch itself, people inside only have each
other to talk to and because Curly's wife is the only female she has
no one to talk to and so feels isolated. This is also the case for
Crooks because he is the only Black person on the ranch.
In the novel, George is a migrant worker who has been traveling around
America doing odd jobs with his fellow companion Lennie. George is a
small man with small strong hands, dark face and sharp restless eyes.
From his description I can see that George is a clever and careful
character. Lennie on the other hand is a big man with large pale eyes,
and sloping shoulders. His movement had a bear like quality and the
way he is described in the novel makes him sound like an animal.
George and Lennie travel together because they are friends and have
known each other a long time. Also it would be better then traveling
alone, because they would have no other companions and so would be
At the start of the novel George and Lennie are in a natural clearing
a few miles away from the ranch. They have not got any money because
they had to buy bus tickets and had to flee the last town because
Lennie got into trouble.
George and Lennie have a good friendship but at times it seems that it
is a relationship between and father and son. George seems to take the
roll of the father and Lennie the son. Even though George complains
about Lennie and says that he would be much better off without Lennie,
he still needs Lennie for companionship. I know this because in
chapter one George says, "God a' mighty, if I was...