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Every Americans dreamt of having their own land with a little house and a couple of acres for animals and to be their own boss, George and Lennie have this dream. The novel Of Mice and Men was written in the 1930's, when the Great Depression started, it affected the whole world and many dreams were shattered, Curley's wife was one, her dream of being in the cinema became a different type of the American dream. Racism was a huge issue, if we look at Crook's situation in the novel, he is treated differently plus no-one wants to accept him. People didn't treat women as equals, on that ranch, that land of men, women are not treated as people, women are objects. Of Mice and Men was filled with characters who are unable to find a way out of lonely lives. The loneliness in this story builds and builds and no-one is allowed to escape. Through this, Steinbeck effectively forms a solid backing for the characters and events in his novel.
The novel is set in "Soledad", which means loneliness and is short for the town's full name, "Nuestra Senora de Soledad' which means "Our Lady of Loneliness". It is a peaceful and quiet place where a lot of animals freely walk around "Rabbits came out of the brush" also, a green place with no sign of a human beings. "Silence/Silent" was repeated in the novel seven times when Candy's dog was shot, it tells you a little bit about the place and how lonely it was. The same happened to Curley's wife when she was killed by Lennie when she was playing a tease.
Foreshadowing is key in this novel, it gives the reader something to think about, like a game and it tells you about what can happen in the future. When Candy's dog was shot at the back of the head by Carlson, it was exactly what happened to Lennie when George shot him, also when a water snake was killed by a heron "A silent head beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head", it gives you an idea of what will happen to Lennie at the end of the novel before George shot him. The same what happened to Curley's wife when Lennie wants to touch a girl's red dress in Weed at the beginning of the novel.
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' ". So, he relies on his companionship with Lennie to keep from going with the men into town. George and Lennie have a strong limited relationship. 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.." This dream gave them something to live and work for, and helped them temporarily forget about the daily hardships of being a migrant worker. George is like a parent to Lennie. Lennie seeks George's approval in everything he does and George feels sympathy for him. It is understanble why George despite his frustration, He showed this when he said "God a'mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy" he showed that he is very dissatisfied and frustrated but he keeps helping Lennie and feels affection for him as he knows how much Lennie depends in him, emotionally and mentally. Basically, they have like a father and son relationship. Lennie's loneliness chiefly stems from his limited mental abilities. Lennie cannot think as quickly as the other men, he is often set aside and isolated from them. He is unable to take an active part in conversation. George is also caught in the trap of loneliness. Just as Candy has his dog for company. George has Lennie, he too is left completely alone when Lennie was killed. Their dream of owning a land and being their own boss was the reason why they kept going and not giving up their dream, working together and travelling together to reach it.
Crooks was isolated because he is different. He copes with it by keeping a distance between himself and the other hands. Unlike the other men, he does not have any comfort against his loneliness. He is unlike the other men. He is the only black, and he must live by himself in a shack by the barn. He has no work companions, unlike the white men of the ranch. The white men at least have other men to talk to at their living quarters, but Crooks only has himself and his books. He hates the books, but they are his only companion. When Lennie comes to his shack seeking friendship while the other men were gone, Crooks tells him to leave, because "even a black man must have rightsÂ…" But, he secretly enjoys the companionship that Lennie brings. He finally has a companion in the lonely world of outcasts. Loneliness has made Crooks a very bitter and isolated individual. "S'pose you didn't have nobody. S'pose you couldn't go into the bunk house and play rummy cause you was black how'd you like that?" Crooks doesn't have anyone by his side. He wants someone taking care of him and someone he take care of, he says "A guy goes nuts, if he ain't got nobody" that clearly shows how desperate Crooks to have someone. Most of the men constantly put down Crooks and use him as a scapegoat, even to the point of calling the racist term "nagger".
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, Curley 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 Curley would disapprove. "Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely." Curley's wife was the only girl in the novel and the only girl in the ranch, "Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain't no place for a girl, specially like her". Curley's wife was newly married and in a strange place, she is forbidden by Curley to talk to anyone but him. To counter this, she pretends to that she is looking for her husband and says "Hi, good lookin" she constantly approaches the men in the ranch on the excuse of looking for Curley. The only result is that the men regard her as a slut "Curley's wife can't get away with guys." also, she is labelled a tramp and a tart by the men and Curley becomes even more intensely jealous. Finally, her loneliness leads to her death as she makes the serious error by visiting Lennie alone, in hopes of friendship, she falls to the grasp of Lennie's strong and confused hands. Curley's wife's loneliness has altered her demeanour towards other and become flirtatious. Her husband causes it, because of their bad relationship "He spends half his time lookin' for her and the rest of the time she's lookin' for him." The writer describes her as a "girl" to emphasise how young she was. The final scene in Of Mice and Men brings the plot full circle, for Lennie's contradictory values are then affirmed--his blameless, animal instincts mixed with sad humanity, his innocent longings for a pen full of rabbits which he can pet and tend to, and his grim awareness that his life may be nearing its end. When Candy, finds Curley's wife half-buried and stone dead in the hay in the barn, he calls for George who gets a gun while Candy spreads the alarm that the girl has been murdered. But when Curely is told of his wife's death, his sadistic tendencies come to a boil, for he realizes that Lennie is to blame which sets into motion a true cycle of vengeance on the part of Curley and the other hired hands at the ranch.
Another person who falls victim of loneliness is Candy. He tries to offset loneliness as long as he can by keeping his old dog alive. His dog is finally killed in an act of mercy towards the animal by Carlson. The other guys only see his dog as an old animal well past its due. "Carl's right, Candy. That dog ain't no good to himself. I wisht somebody'd shoot me if I got old an' a cripple." But, they fail to see that the dog as Candy's only companion, and without the dog, he would be lonely. Candy is old and disabled and because of that he feels useless, he says "They'll call me purty soon". Soon, Candy is faced with loneliness, and overcomes it by sharing the dream of Lennie and George's he said excitedly, 'you'll let me hoe in the gardenâ€¦An' I'll wash the dishes an' little chicken stuff like that." He found at least a bit of hope to overcome his loneliness.
Life on the ranch was not easy. They are living in a very unfair violent and racist world. We saw this when Candy's dog was shot. Men on the ranch have to sleep in the same room, meaning there is no privacy also, they don't have many possessions. They don't trust each other, "You takin' his pay away from him?" always suspicious to one another, they are not proper friends and no sense of permanent, they come and go. Every characters in this novel dreamt something and they all ended up with nothing, some didn't survive, some their dreams shattered, at the end, no one gets anything.
Literary devices were very effective in this novel, this makes Steinbeck's novel a master piece. Bestial imagery was the main literary device here, we can obviously see this every time he describes Lennie to something and in that way, "snorting into the water like a horse." we can actually feel how strong and big Lennie was. If we compare the way Lennie and George talk, they are basically opposite, Lennie talks softly while George talks sharply. They are opposite in every way. The use of adverbs makes the novel very interesting and not being dull and boring. We can guess what kind of personality a person has when they are being explain with adverbs. Also, adverbs gives a lot of details, what is happening in the novel.
All of the characters exhibits loneliness but I think the loneliest character in 'Of Mice and Men' is Crooks. He is lonely because he is the only person who has a room to himself and he can't join the other men to talk, play cards and stuff. This character is a very lonely person and leads a very miserable life because of this making the reader fell sympathetic towards him. Crooks was lonely mainly because of his colour, there was a lot of racism at that point in history and black people were considered lower beings than white people and black people suffered greatly because of this and had virtually no rights to defend themselves, if they did they usually got killed. If it were not for this racism plagued environment then Crooks would probably make a success out of himself because he is actually one of the most intelligent people on the ranch, as he always read books to kill time since no one likes him or cares about him.