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The novel was written by John Steinbeck in the 1930s during the great depression. The novel is set in a town called Soledad a few miles from California. Soledad means loneliness in Spanish so already just from reading where the novel is set you immediately start to get a feel of the theme of loneliness in the novel. The book is about a couple of migrant ranch workers who all become lonely at some point in the novel.
Loneliness affects everyone at some point in their lives. In the novel lots of people get lonely one, of these people is Crooks. Crooks is a stable ranch hand that is continuously isolated from all the other ranch workers due to the color of his skin. Remember the novel is set at the time when black people were discriminated against and thought to be less important than white people which makes it even worse for him. Also crooks is often insulted and picked on because he was a cripple. He twisted his spine and this is where he got his name from. Crooks liked to keep his distance from all the other ranch workers he would often sit in his well swept and tidy room alone he would demand that people left him alone Crooks is a man who loves his privacy and was a very secluded and isolated man. Because of the fact Crooks had a crippled back he would only come out his room for important things or to do some odd jobs around the ranch.
Even when people came into his room he got very angry and annoyed we see this when Lennie enters his room. Crooks immediately gets very angry at Lennie and turns him away trying to prove point that white people and black people should not mix but as lennie starts asking questions to crooks he finally gives in and invites lennie to come and sit with him. Crooks like lots of characters was very lonely and even admitted it himself he would often explain this to lennie " spose you didnââ‚¬â„¢t have nobody you couldnââ‚¬â„¢t go into the bunk house and play rummey cause you were black howd you like that". ' I tell ya a guy gets lonely an he gets sick" Crooks shows all the negative effects of what loneliness can do to a person. He plays cruel jokes on people like when he suggested that George his best friend was gone for good "Well spose jus spose he dont come back what will you do then?" he only gave this up when lennie Th him with physical violence. Crooks would only do this because he was very jealous of George and lennies friendship and simply because Crooks had no friends himself. just wanted a sense of belonging lonelyness has made crooks a very bitter individual. Crooks has been effected so much by lonelyness he does not know how to function normally and has made crooks a completley new person.Crooks also would do anything to work as long as it meant being able to talk and try and make friends with some one else on the ranch.
Curleys wife is another character who is very lonely she is married to curley who hates her speaking to any other ranch workers but him. Curleys wife would often walk the ranch dressed in reveling clothes. All the ranch workers would try their best to avoid her she was seen as a tart and a trouble maker no one wanted to be around her. She was very lonley also becasue of this she would use her apperance to recieve attention from other ranch workers.Also one of the biggest things that prove that Curleys wife is very lonely is that she has no name really hungry for attention and she would go to extreme measures to try and acheive this. Curley would not give his wife the love and affection she desperatley needs and truly deserved. She would seek this attetion from someone else she spent most of her time worried about what Curley would say "i never get to talk to anyone or else curly gets mad" But worst of all Curleys wife thiks she has her life under control and her lonelyness but she clearly does not. Lonleyness for Curleys wife has turned her into some she is not a bad person and a
very bitter person. Most of Curleys wife loneliness is cause by her own husband. Curleys wife well could be the lonelyest character in the novel.
Candy is very much like Crooks . Candy is also a very lonely person in of mice and men because of his age and the fact that he only has one hand. Candy has only one true friend in the world which is his dog . Candy thinks of him self as an old and worthless man and his biggest fear is the boss saying to him your to old to work. Most is Candys loneliness is a result of his accident on the ranch resulting him in losing one of his hands and down came a whole lot of loneliness and a huge loss of money for himself. When his dog dies he has no one to turn to and no one to talk to so he has to look some where else for a friend and he trys to make friends with George and Lennie. Candy offered George and Lennie his whole life savings to try and live out a dream the main reason he did this is because he was very lonely.
Candy was like Crooks they where both outcasts due to age and problems with there bodies"when they cant use me here i wisht somebody shoot me. I wont have no place to go an i cant get no more jobs." candy says this in the book because he would rather die than not work on the ranch. He feels that he is wasting away and is going to die soon his greatest fear is not being able to work on the ranch. Candy and his dogs friendship mirrors the realtionship George and Lennie have. When Candy offers lots of his money to help George and Lennie in the quest for their dream but what he was really trying to do was buy their friendship because he was so lonely "youll let me hoe in the garden" this quote just says it all it really shows how much Candy wanted to work and how much he wanted a friend Candy puts him self down to much one of the main reason that Candy is so lonely is because he is afraid that people wont like him becuase he only has one hand. But despite all of this he still tries to make friends by talking to all the ranch hands as much as he could. Joining Lennie and Georges dream is his last chance to try and find a sense of belonging and to make some friends.
Candy is the main character that portrayes the theme of lonelyness in the novel all the ranch workers would always put Candy and his dog down this made Candy feel even worse about his life and eventually when his dog died Candy had no one and his lonelyness was slowly eating away at him.
Lonelyness affects everyone at some point through out of the of mice and men novel. Lonelyness is shown more in certain people and has different affects on people. John steinbeck has explored the theme of lonelyness in detail through out the novel and has created clear pictures of the pain and suffering the characters went through.