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Theme Of Loneliness In Of Mice And Men, By John Steinbeck

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In the book, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, there are multiple underlying themes that compose the story. One of the themes, loneliness, is present throughout the story. The people on the farm sometimes go into town on Saturdays to forget about their loneliness with women and alcohol. George and Lennie are lonely, too. They try to break the unyielding system of loneliness by planning and talking about buying a small farm. Curley's wife feels lonely, also. In an attempt to keep from being lonely, she visits and talks to the men at the ranch. Candy, an old ranch hand, fears loneliness also. To keep from being lonely, he keeps around his old dog. Crooks, the stable buck, is lonely, too. He is the only black man, and lives apart from the others.

To begin with, the men are all lonely, and try to forget about their loneliness on Saturdays by going into town. The men go into town and drown their sorrows in alcohol and distract themselves with women. These activities are the only activities they have outside of the ranch. George knows that this act will cost money, and will delay his dream of having a house and "living offa the fatta the lan' " (p. 57). So, he relies on his companionship with Lennie to keep from going with the men into town.

Next, George and Lennie are lonely themselves. They try to break the unending system of loneliness of migrant workers by planning to build a house. As George said, explaining to Lennie: "'Well, we'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we'll just say the hell with goin' to work, and we'll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an' listen to the rain comin' down on the roof.." (p. 14-15) This dream gave them something to live and work for, and helped them temporarily forget about the daily hardships of being a migrant worker.

Also, Curly's wife suffers from loneliness. Not only is she the only woman at the ranch, her husband, Curley, is seemingly always absent. Because of this, she seeks companionment from the other men. But, Curly despises this, and wants her confined to their house. This only adds to her loneliness. The main purpose of her visiting the living quarters of the men is her emotional need of companionship. But, the men don't want to talk with her because they fear Curly would disapprove. "Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely." (p 86) This eventually leads to her death. By visiting Lennie alone, in hopes of friendship, she falls to the grasp of Lennie's strong and confused hands.

Another person who falls victim of loneliness is Candy. He tries to offset loneliness as long as he can by keeping his old dog



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