John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck’s book is situated in the 1930’s during the period of the Great depression in America. This book depict the characters as miserable victims of the community, every one of them is wretched in a number of ways. All the characters are in need of companionship, in need to attain their objectives, in need of a relationship, and are lonely. The foremost objective of the book is to highlight to the audience the existence and conditions of living for the American migrant workers during the Great Depression. Moreover, the book illustrates how isolated and lonely the workers become while they move from one ranch to another. This paper will look at the impact of loneliness on different characters and how George and Lennie differ from other characters in the ranch.
Loneliness is the foremost theme in the book and is among the aspects that make the life in the ranch to be unbearable. The author describes the ranch where George and Lennie work as a primitive and lonely area. The ranch workers are depicted as lonely, and living unstable lives, with no purpose in their existence. Steinbeck describes the path as “a path beaten by hard boys coming down from the ranches to swim in the deep pool, and beaten hard by tramps who come wearily down from the highway in the evening to jungle-up near water.” (Steinbeck 18). This statement establishes scenery and highlights how people who toil in the ranch experience lonely, isolated, and temporary lives.
Nevertheless, there are individuals in the ranch who have lonelier experiences than others. The owner of the ranch does not seem to have an association with any of the workers. He may be acting in this manner, in case he has to dismiss the workers or to maintain his position superior than the workers. Nonetheless, there is evidence that the boss is not friendly as he does not give the impression of appreciating friendship among individuals. For instance, George tells the owner of the ranch that they travel together, the boss replies, “What stake you got in this guy? You takin’ his pay away from him?” (Steinbeck 43). This shows that people in the ranch do not seem to recognize friendship, as it not present.
Also, Curley controls his wife. He does not permit her have conversations with any of the male members on the ranch. This makes her to become lonely. Despite Curley’s wife being talked about in a number of instances, the audience is not aware of her name. This illustrates how individuals in the ranch do not care about other people, causing loneliness. Curley is also lonely despite having a wife. Numerous people hate him because he is not a friendly person. Curley wants to maintain his position on the ranch by forbidding his wife from having relations with other men, and by despising workers. This makes him not to have any friends. Candy also is isolated from the other men on the ranch. This is because he is aged and physically handicapped. He tries to attain relations and cover his loneliness through awkward ways. He asserts, “Maybe if I give you my money, you’ll let me hoe in the garden even after I ain’t no good at it.”(Steinbeck 66).
Crooks is presumed as the loneliest individual on the ranch. He experiences intense loneliness because he is from a different race from the rest of the people in the ranch, and the area is surrounded by racist individuals. Crooks lives alone and the other people in the ranch are not fond of him. In addition, he is not involved in any of the ranch’s social events and is entirely isolated. Moreover, Crooks exists by the law that an individual from the black race is not supposed to go into a white man’s residence. Crooks’ loneliness results from the refutation he experiences from the rest of the people on the ranch. He is forced to reside in a barn due to his race. Crooks informs Lennie, “A guy needs somebody to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody around…a guy sets alone out here at night.” (Steinbeck 80).
George and Lennie differ from other characters because they can talk to each other, have a bright future, and are planning to purchase land and a house. In contrast, the other workers do not belong to a single place, do not have families, and are lonely. George and Lennie also take care of one another, unlike the other workers who have no one to take care of them. Finally, unlike other workers who are lonely, George and Lennie comfort and support each other.
Steinbeck, J. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. Print.