“A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t matter no difference who theguy is, long’s he’s with you.
I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he getssick.” A major theme in Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men is loneliness.The characters Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife, each suffer from this althoughthe severity of their seclusion varied. The old swamper, Candy is victimized byisolation as a result of two main factors, one being his disability and theother being his age. For example, throughout the book we find the farmhands outbucking the barley while Candy is left behind to sweep and clean the ranch.
Helost his hand after getting it caught in a piece of machinery and as a result heis forced to stay behind. This being one of the major factors that leads to hisloneliness. Furthermore, Candy’s age adds to his feeling of uselessness. Becausehe thinks that he is old he puts himself in a state of mind that handicaps himmore than his missing hand ever will. He looks down on himself as an oldworthless man that’s wasting away his last few years. Not only is it the waythat others think of him, but also the way he thinks of himself that forces himto find solitude.
The most evident case of loneliness is Curley’s wife. Nomatter how hard she tries she can not fit in. For example, when she triesnumerous times to talk to George and Lenny she is either ignored or told toleave. Because of her reputation for being a flirt none of the farmhands want totalk to her. It is the threat of getting in trouble with Curley that causes manyworkers to avoid her. In addition, because of Curley’s insecure feelings heneglects her and forces her to seek attention anyway she can, even if it meansflirting. She is ignored by both the farmhands and her own husband and becauseof this she is being forced into loneliness, the one thing she fights so hardagainst.
Crooks is a black man that experiences isolation in terms of racism.For example, he is forced to live alone in the barn. Because the setting of thisbook takes place during the 1930’s discrimination sadly still exists.
Thefarmhands feel that since he is black he isn’t worthy of living with the rest ofthem. Furthermore, his separation from others causes his severe loneliness. Hespends his nights reading and his days alone in the barn working on the horses.His distance from others will eventually causes his downfall. We finddiscrimination being the major cause of this characters loneliness.
He istreated as an outcast and peon and is forced t find friendship in the only thingthat he can, the books he reads. Loneliness is an inescapable fact of life thatnot even the strongest can avoid. Throughout the story Of Mice and Men wediscover the many sources of solitude, primarily being discrimination andprejudice. Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife all suffer from these facts whichleads them to their loneliness. As for the consequences we find that theseverity of each characters loneliness varied and that the eventual effects weredirectly related to the magnitude of their solitude.English Essays