Loneliness of Mice and Men
Have you ever been lonely? Human beings are social people whose lives are inclined on friends. Loneliness is a feeling experienced when people are solitary and do not have companions. Most apparently, the feeling is contributed by extreme discrimination and rejection from the society. Currently, it is often experienced in various cases. However, in the novel, the major theme of solitude and isolation surround Candy, Crooks, George, Curley and his wife. Loneliness becomes an inevitable fact of life experienced by the majority of the society including the strongest characters.
John Steinbeck, the author, illustrates exclusive isolation in California ranch life. Friends are the primary components of life needed in the society. In the absence of a friend, loneliness and solitude are inevitable. Interestingly, the villain and second actors in the story are jealous of a relationship that they miss between Lennie and George. Indeed, everybody in the novel is exceedingly sad and live in isolation with a special, exceptional case of Slim, confidently unshaken with solitude and isolation. Interestingly, the unhappiness feelings in the society are great, and none of the characters staying in California ranch can be exempted. To analyze loneliness and isolation in Of Mice and Men, it is prudent to explore the bittersweet friendship of George and Lennie (Goldhurst, 1971). Moreover, the loneliness through the three characters forced by circumstances to relocate elsewhere to fight loneliness gives another aspect of studying loneliness. The most vital aspects here are the childhood life of Crook on the farm, the vision of Curley’s wife especially the stardom Hollywood, Eden of both Lennie and George. Lastly exploring the similarities between certain characters will be significant in understanding the theme of loneliness.
According to George, people like them who live on the ranches are the most solitude people in the universe. In other words, if not for the company of each other, then he and Lennie would be lone rangers in the ranch. No friends like the nomads working from ranch to ranch without companionship, soldiering on with solitary life. Walking side by side to each other, George and Lennie are together in a common dream, as travelers will, of a place to call their home. The other aspect of loneliness is evident in the thinking dimension of George and Lennie. Being a deep thinker, George is a cunning person whose mind is in constant stimulation due to companionship. However, his partner is unable to provide the support. Meanwhile, Lennie being simple-minded, she does not understand whatever George desire. Even though the two partners are in a deep relationship, unfortunately, they still languish in loneliness at critical levels. However, Crooks as a person constantly disputes this loneliness and ascertain that the most important aspect in a relationship is when people stay together and have close contact.
Elsewhere, Crooks as a person presents another important theme of loneliness. Most importantly, his loneliness feelings are contributed by the prejudice of other workers in the ranch. He is hugely discriminated because he is the only black man in the ranch. He is isolated from his white colleagues and seeks refuge in a shed of the barn, and no one has formal interaction with him. He receives open rejection by the people hence he cannot form a relationship or interact with his colleagues. Besides, Lennie cannot also socially mingle as it should be because of her mental disability. The majority of workers in the ranch dislikes and mistreats him since he is not one of them. Black individuals are perceived to be filthily stinking and are prevented from everyday participation in any activity with the whites. Crooks revenges the rejection by treating white people fairly bad because they have offended him.
Candy also feel loneliness because of his old age. Nearly all the workers in the ranch reject him because he is old and disabled. He seeks company from his faithful, old, and blind dog, though it was willingly taken away from him tortured and killed. He is fearful about the same crooked murders which took away the life of his great dog. He wants to join Lennie and George to the ranch and get immunity against the bizarre murders. Moreover. Candy like Crooks despite him being a black origin because of his advanced age and physical disability which makes Candy a special case from the rest in the ranch. However, Candy frequently tries to keep communication with his people to remain relevant in the society. Finally, the advanced age of Candy in ranch renders him useless. He attempts to remain useful through fixing himself in friendship dream of Lennie and George. His other desperate attempt is the proposal he is making to George and Lennie towards their aspirations. Candy felt extremely much lonelier than before when he lost his dog. He valued the dog and treated it as the greatest creature he confided within with in his old life. Separately, Candy also had a dog that he confided with hence their relationship was also important (Bick, 2005). Candy offered financial incentives to support their friendship with the dog. He further attempts to buy the relationship of both George and Lennie. However, such strong bonding relationships can never be purchased.
Curley and his wife also voice their sources of loneliness. Curley is the greatest source of loneliness to his wife. They had a sour marriage with Curley. She had inspired to become a movie star but never had an opportunity to exercise her talent (Steinbeck, 2010). Most importantly, she was avoided much because he often creates commotion among the workers and Candy. Irrespective of the author mentioning the life of the family of Curley in the novel, herthe author never mentions the name to indicate that other characters fear her husband. Curley is an extremist person with jealousy and could engage in a quarrel with anybody who mingles with his wife. Therefore, she hates her husband and rarely shares her plight with him. She, therefore, long for companionship since her husband Curley is harsh and could not allow her the freedom making new friends. Moreover, she tries to grab the attention of ranchers due to the flashy dress codes, purposely to soothe her loneliness.
In conclusion, in as much as people become isolated and remain miserable, loneliness due to friends is much more detrimental. Isolating one member from the companionship causes much more misery and pain. Candy remain in everlasting pain after losing his dog. George similarly felt weird when he had to eliminate his friend Lennie. God created people to live together in a social way. For this matter, it is relevant to have a companion within the society. Finding the right friendship brings happiness in life. Finally, the value of interaction and relationship become the most important lesson obtained from the novel Of Mice and Men. Friendship keeps away loneliness and rejection.
- Bick, S. (2005). “Of Mice and Men”: Copland, Hollywood, and American Musical Modernism. American Music.
- Goldhurst, W. (1971). Of” Mice and Men”: John Steinbeck’s Parable Of The Curse Of Cain. Western American Literature.
- Steinbeck, J. (2010). Of Mice and Men and The Moon Is Down. Penguin.