Lonely Characters in Novel on Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
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Mother Teresa Said that “ the most terrible poverty in loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved”. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck explores the topic of loneliness expressed by several different characters. Taking place on and isolated ranch near a town called Soledad (spanish for “solitude”), George and lennie are workers who travel each other and look out for one another. The stand in stark contrast to the many other characters who live lives of loneliness without anyone to care for or who cares for them. Steinbeck uses the characters of Crooks, Curley’s wife, Candy to show what life is like for people who, unlike George and Lennie, are truly isolated or alone in this world.
The character Crooks, is an example of a lonely character in the story because he uses so much evidence that makes whoever is reading the story believe he is a lonely and is without nobody. Crooks, as the only character of color, and doesn’t really have people that know him because of his color. He has hidden or backed off of any groups or having friends because of racism. “Crooks has reduced himself to nothing. There was no personality no ego, ‘nothing’.’’(81) There is no personality in the point of view of people who don’t know him. People don’t know him and that’s why they say he has no personality because he’s not social with no one and that disassembles who he really is as a person. “Crookes keeping back out of attention Range.’’(96) Crooks is a character that seems to be alone and quite distant from other people, and doesn’t like to be the center of attention at all because maybe he seems self conscious about his skin tone. Overall, he is character that has a lonely personality and isn’t talked to or mentioned a lot during the story, that might indicate that he is a character that’s not really known or that no one knows him.
Curley’s wife is a big important factor to the point that people are lonely in this story. She is probably the loneliest character in the story because she is the only female,”I get lonely’ she said, ‘you can talk to people but I can’t talk to anybody but curley.”(87), and because she is a women she is limited by her husband Curly what she can and not do. One big thing she cannot do is talk and socialize to the men/workers, which is why she might feel lonely most of the time .
She communicates her feelings to another character and she tells him that she would love to talk to somebody but cannot since her husband doesnt let her do whatever she wants, “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while?’’(77), she obviously seems like she wants attention and needs it because of how desperate she is. Even though Curley’s wife doesn’t in particular have a name, I feel like that has a meaning behind that too. I think the meaning behind that was to show that she wasn’t much of an important character as far as having the title of just “Curley’s wife”.
Candy, the old man, is old and lonely, and throughout the story it seems to be like that for a while now. Candy mentions how he’s had a dog for a long time, that might indicate that that’s the only companion has only had, throughout his life. So in the part of the book in where Candy is pressured to give up his dog for dead, he doesn’t want to do it because I feel like he was gonna be even more lonelier without the dog, ‘Candy looked unhappy “No” he said softly. “No, I couldn’t’ do that . I had ‘im too long.” (45) When he did give him up, Carlson, shot the dog from far away. But, they heard it from the distance, and when it happened, they all looked straight at Candy, “For a moment he continued to stare at the ceiling.
The he rolled over slowly and faced the wall and laid silent.” He probably regrets the way the dog died, later on he tells george that he should of shot the dog and not somebody else. Continuing along the story he disrupts George and Lennie when they start talking about how they are going to live on a small piece of land and have animals to care for. He starts by saying, “S’pose I went in with you guys. That’s three hundred and’ fifty bucks I’d put in. I ain’t much good, but I could cook and tend the chickens and hoe the garden some. How’d that be?” This supports how lonely he is because when George and Lennie talked about their future, there was a huge chance for Candy to not be lonely for once in his life.
Steinbeck made such a big deal about loneliness because we don’t realize how many people are lonely in this world and maybe wanted us to self reflect on our lives compared to the lives that lonely people live. He might of been saying that lonely people struggle more than people with others to share it with. Comparing the life of the characters in the book to people today is much different because back when the great depression was being introduced, more and more people traveled alone. And today, it’s not common to see that. Overall loneliness is a stressful topic to talk about, just the thought of it makes people be more grateful for having someone in their life to share it with.