Loneliness and Friendship in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
- Length: 1799 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck describes the life of a man and his best friend who has the mentality of a child. Their friendship is very strong and this is unusual due to the other characters in the book being very lonely. Every time George and Lennie manage to stick a job out, Lennie makes a mistake and they are forced to leave. But they hope after all of their intense work that they can finally have their dream and get a place they can call their own. Through many difficulties and hardships they manage to deal with the arguments and lack of companionship at their workplace. Between the two key themes of friendship and loneliness Steinbeck makes the novel Of Mice and Men a real success.
One of the ways Steinbeck establishes the theme of loneliness is through setting itself. Section one of the book is set at a pleasant and peaceful river a few miles south of Soledad. The first four letters sole meaning only. Also Soledad means lonely place in Spanish. The river seems very secluded and isolated. There’s nothing but nature. It’s a very harmonious and tranquil place. A clearing so quiet you could hear a pin drop. It’s also the place George tells Lennie to meet him if he gets into any sort of trouble. This is a complete contrast to where the rest of the book is mainly set. A ranch where George and Lennie the two main characters manage to find work. The ranch displays isolation mainly through the actions characters take and the events that happen.
Characters in the novel also contribute to the understanding of the theme of loneliness. George Milton and Lennie Small are the two main characters in the novel. They are like two halves. “The first man was small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp strong features.” George is the smaller of the two men but has taken care of Lennie for a while, since Lennie’s Aunt Clara died and this highlights the theme of friendship. He is the more knowledgeable one of the two. “You crazy son-of-a-bitch. You keep me in hot water all the time.” George gets a little irritated with Lennie at times but looks after him no matter what. Their friendship is solid has to watch over him at all times, as Lennie is incapable of looking after himself and is one of the many characters who doesn’t change at all through the novel.
How to Cite this Page
|Friendship in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Essay - "Were born alone we live alone die alone. Only through love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that were not alone” Orson Welles. In this novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck focuses on the loneliness of California ranch life in the 1930’s. One of the most important things in the life is to have a friend, without friends people will suffer from loneliness like in this novel, not everyone in the novel has the same connection and special friendship like George and Lennie’s.... [tags: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men]||774 words|
|Essay on Loneliness in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Loneliness in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Throughout the novel, Of Mice and Men (by John Steinbeck), loneliness is the major underlying theme of the novel. You could almost say that the book has hormonal' up's and down's. Most of the characters are very lonely because they have no family. However, George and Lennie are the contradiction to this. George and Lennie's bond towards each other are so- strong that you can almost see it as you are reading the book. Candy the old crippled man wants to be part of George and Lennie's dream to own a farm and "live off the fatta the land".... [tags: Steinbeck Mice Men]||1297 words|
| Theme of Loneliness in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay - The Theme of Loneliness in Of Mice and Men In the novel, Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck used George and Lennie's relationship and the theme of hope to point out the loneliness in the novel. The novel starts off and is set in Soledad which means lonely. At the beginning they get a job working on a farm together. Lennie is a little retarded and has great physical strength that isn't too controllable. As they work from ranch to ranch, Lennie relies on George for guidance and help. Rather than wasting their earnings, they try to save it in the hope of buying a place of their own.... [tags: Steinbeck Of Mice and Men Essays]|
:: 3 Works Cited
|John Steinbeck´s Of Mice and Men; The Loneliness of American Society Essay - In an American society, many people settle in the United States of America in hopes of seeking the American Dream, which is the freedom of life, equality, and the aspiration to accomplish individual goals in life. Any person that has lived through the great depression has had their life drastically changed by many hard obstacles that had to be fought in order to sustain an excellent life. Some of the crucial themes of the novel Of Mice and Men is that having your own dream attains ambition, companionship, and assurance, allowing one to succeed in life with meaning and importance.... [tags: Loneliness, American Dream]||1065 words|
|Loneliness in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay - The American Dream is a concept that anyone, regardless of their background or financial status, is able to pursue and full-fill their personal goal. More often than not it was a financial goal, however there are others, which include community, happiness, love and the closeness of family. America is thought of as a place where dreams can come true. Maybe because of its vast land and financial opportunity. Around pre 1900, there was mass immigration from all parts of Europe so that appears to imply that the people from around Europe believed America was the country of opportunity at the time.... [tags: Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck]||1210 words|
|Essay on Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Life is an array of emotions and experiences. At times it blesses us with experiences that instill feelings of happiness and joy, in which we are able to celebrate life and all it could offer us. Other times life hits us in the face, letting us endure hardships, sadness, depression and loss. Most may argue that Of Mice and Men is either intended to celebrate the joys of life or meant to be a depressing book. Yet what most fail to see is that Of Mice and Men portrays both aspects of human life through the mutual friendship of two uncommonly men, George and Lennie, the dream they both share, and the sudden calamity that befall them.... [tags: Mice Men Steinbeck, friendship, relationships]||1044 words|
|Essay about John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck's “Of mice and men” Of Mice and Men is set along the Salinas River a few miles south of Soledad in the fallen world of the Salinas Valley, which Steinbeck places "east of Eden" the Promised Land is only a painful and illusory dream. This land is populated by "sons of Cain", men doomed to walk alone. One of the major themes that comes from this is loneliness, or fear of apartness. One of the themes of Of Mice and Men is that men fear loneliness, that they need someone to be with and to talk to who will offer understanding and companionship.... [tags: John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men]||979 words|
|Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Relationships are essential in everybody's life. Having no real friends makes life dull, dark and lonely. Loneliness is a big theme in Of Mice and Men, George and Lennie are set apart from Slim, Crooks and Candy. They have something unique a special bond with each other. Each character influences, plays a role to the other characters. Steinbeck's portrayal of the men's relationship seems minimal, but is in fact monumental. The setting of Mice and Men takes place on a ranch where George and Lennie meet Slim, Candy, Crooks, Carlson, Curly and Curly's wife.... [tags: Steinbeck Mice Men Essays]||623 words|
|Analysis of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Essay - Analysis of Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck Of Mice And Men' by John Steinbeck is a classic novel, tragedy, written in a social tone. The authorial attitude is idyllic, however, as the story develops it changes into skeptic. It is evident that Steinbeck knew the setting and places he is writing about. In my opinion Steinbeck drew the subject matter from his own experience of working on ranches, he was interested in special kinds of relationships among men working on ranches with him.... [tags: Mice Men John Steinbeck]||1483 words|
|Defeated Hope in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay - Defeated Hope in Of Mice and Men When discussing the thematics of Steinbeck's novel, we would do well to first examine the title, which is an allusion to a line of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft aglay." Translated into modern English, the verse reads: "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry." This cynical statement is at the heart of the novel's action and serves as a foreshadowing prophecy of all that is to come. For, indeed, the novels two main characters do have a scheme, a specific dream of changing their current way of life in order to have their own place and work only for themselves.... [tags: Steinbeck Of Mice and Men Essays]||918 words|
George is genuinely proud of Lennie and needs him otherwise he would be very lonely. “Behind him walked his opposite, a huge man, shapeless of face with large pale eyes.” Lennie is a very large man who has the strength of an animal. With Georges brain power and Lennies strength they become one whole. Lennie has a very short attention span and cannot concentrate on anything for a long length of time. Because of his slow mind Lennie cannot distinguish right from wrong, and doesn’t know anything about the consequences of his actions. Lennie is always reassured everything will be okay. "We have a dream. Someday, we'll have a little house and a couple of acres. A place to call home." Also we are shown this by George saying "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world...They got no family. They don't belong no place...With us, it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us." Guys like us are the loneliest guys in the world. This is interesting as George and Lennie are the only workers that have a companion. Its also unusual as this is what introduces the theme of loneliness, while George and Lennie are the only workers their that know what if feels like to have someone to care for you.
Crook’s is another important character in Of Mice and Men in the terms of loneliness. Given the name for his crooked back, he is still a very respectable worker. He is incredibly self sufficient and this highlights the theme of loneliness. Crook’s sleeps in the barn, apart from everyone else. He is racially discriminated against, as he is the only black person on the ranch. Curley’s wife in particular is a bully towards him as she thinks she has more power over him than anyone else, as she is married to the bosses’ son and she’s white. Crooks longs for friendship with someone but nobody wants to communicate with him as he is coloured. Excitement in his actions when Lennie turns up to talk to him shows just how lonely he is. But Lennie only talks to Crooks when all the other men are out in town. He’s quite cruel towards Lennie and torments him. He keeps telling Lennie that George might not come back. The feeling given here shows that Crooks wants Lennie to feel just as isolated as he does. Loneliness is also shown when he offers to go and hoe the garden if Lennie and George accomplish their dream. He desires to be involved with other people and he hopes he can be a part of their dream. He also dreams that he was treated equally to white people. He knows his civil rights.
Although Curley’s wife is higher in authority she is also very isolated. She has nobody to talk to and looks to the men at the ranch for attention and is besieged by her loneliness. She is married to a man she doesn't love and who doesn't love her. There are no other women on the ranch and she has nothing to do in the house so she tries to seduce the workers and hangs around the bunkhouse. “She had full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. Her voice had a brittle, nasal quality.” By the description given here, we see that Curley’s wife sounds like a beautiful women. She seeks the friendship of Lennie as she can see he is mesmerised by her, even although the other workers describe her as being a tart, a tramp and a bitch. Lennie having the mentality of a child he sees what he likes and wants to touch. We know this, as that’s why he had to leave his last job when he tried to feel a little girls soft red dress. Curley’s wife tries to become closer to him and tries to give him the things he wants. She invites Lennie to stroke her long soft hair. Lennie sees no wrong in this and does so and ends up breaking her neck. Loneliness is portrayed here, as Lennie has no one to talk to about this and can only turn to his best friend George. Lennie then makes his way back to the river to wait for George to come for him, as he is in trouble.
Candy is another significant character in Of Mice and Men. His only friend was his dog, but after the other workers pressure him to let the dog go he is influenced and forced to agree. He is helpless. After the passing of his dog, Candy doesn’t have anything to attach himself to so finds himself getting involved with George and Lennie’s dream, and hopes they can all get a place together. He needs something to hold onto and the dream is all he has got and his savings is what would make the dream possible. Also as the workers say Candy’s dogs useless, Candy gets the feeling that the boss thinks he’s useless and will declare he is not longer able to work.
Slim is the only character in the book that seems to be at peace with himself. He likes being alone and being able to think about things. He is the peacemaker and is always the one the other workers go to if they are in need of advice. Slim is the only one that really understands the friendship between George and Lennie and this is significant at the novels tragic ending.
Steinbeck also uses contrast to emphasise his theme of loneliness as he uses the two central characters George and Lennie, to show an alternative to this isolation. George and Lennie are the only workers on the whole ranch who actually have a strong friendship with one and other. George needs Lennie as a friend. Not only because he is a talented worker but also because he would be lonely otherwise. But this is contradictory to the end of the book. As all the workers know that it was Lennie that killed Curley’s wife, they all set out to kill him. George is being put under severe pressure and has to think about if he is going to bail Lennie out once again. In many ways nearer the end of the book you could say that George does what he does in an act of friendship, but in other ways an act of betrayal. George steals Carlson’s gun – a ranch worker and blames it on Lennie. George thinks that if anyone is to kill Lennie it should be him. George sets out and goes to the river that was the setting at the start of the book. He finds Lennie and reassuringly talks to him about the place they are going to get to thereselves when they have enough money. George tells Lennie about the rabbits he is going to be able to have and their couple of acres of ground. Lennie as usual gets excited about this and cannot tell that anything is different. At this point in time George is still acting as if everything is fine and that their friendship is as strong as ever. George having the gun tries to shoot Lennie many times before he actually does so. He cannot bring himself to do it as they’ve been friends for so long. Loneliness dominates the end of the novel as George had been a character with stable support throughout the novel but now he has murdered Lennie he doesn’t have someone he can properly trust. When the worker find George they assume that he got the gun of Lennie and shot him in self-defence only Slim really knows what has gone on.
In the end Steinbeck makes clear that isolation can be a big part of peoples lives. The novel ends with a description of the sunset. This symbolises George and Lennie’s friendship as it has come to an end. Only Slim really understands what has happened and how George is feeling. The ending of “Of Mice and Men” is tragic and a result of the pursuit of friendship and desire to escape loneliness.
Loneliness in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men Essay
1733 Words7 Pages
There is only one thing in life that is really needed and that is friends. Without friends, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude. Loneliness leads to low self-estee. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, the characters, Crooks, Candy, and Curly’s wife all show some form of loneliness. They are curious of George and Lennie’s friendship because they do not have that support in their life. Through his novel, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck demonstrates that many times, a victim of loneliness will have a never-ending search to fulfill a friendship.
"A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t matter no difference who the guy is, longs he with you. I tell ya a guy gets too…show more content…
They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m Black.
They say I stink. Well I tell you, you all stink to me!" (Steinbeck, 75)
Nobody likes to be forced to live in a barn, let alone to work only with the horses. Crooks spent most of his nights reading and he keeps away from others because of the way he is treated and this eventually leads to his very own emotional downfall. He is treated as an outcast and is forced to find friendship the only way he can, through the books that he reads. The Counseling Center of the University of Buffalo said that: "When you are alone, use the time to enjoy yourself. For example, listen to music or watch a favorite television show. Do not spend the time eating endlessly or worrying about your problems." Obviously Crooks is aware of his problem and tries to cope with it through books and magazines.
Crooks is fascinated by the strength of the friendship of Lennie and George especially how close they are. Crooks said, "Well, s’pose, jus’ s’pose he don’t come back. What’ll you do then?" (Steinbeck, 79) Crooks asks these questions because he does not have any friends. He was curious about the friendship of Lennie and George. He wants the people to feel the way that he did when he was lonely, having nobody with them. He is striving to achieve sympathy and understanding from others. Crooks would work for