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I Heard The Owl Call My Name Essay, Research Paper

Of Mice and Men

?I ain?t got no people,? George said. ?I seen the guys that go around on the ranches

alone. That ain?t no good. They don?t have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They

get wantin? to fight all the time? (41). A major theme in Steinbeck?s novel Of Mice and

Men is loneliness. The characters George, Lennie, Candy and Curley?s wife each suffer from

loneliness even though their isolation varied.

The old swamper Candy, was destroyed by isolation as a result of two main factors,

one being his disability and the other being his age. For example, throughout the book the

reader finds the farmhands out bucking the barley while Candy is left behind to sweep and

clean the ranch. He lost his hand after getting it caught in a piece of machinery and as a

result he is forced to stay behind. This major factor leads to his loneliness. Also Candy?s

age adds to his feeling of uselessness. He looks down on himself as an old worthless man

that?s throwing away his last few years. Not only is it the way that others think of him but

also the way he thinks of himself that forces him to find loneliness.

The most obvious case of loneliness is Curley?s wife. No matter how hard she tried

she couldn?t fit in. For example, when she tried numerous times to talk to George and

Lennie she was either ignored or told to leave. She had a reputation for being a flirt so

none of the farmhands wanted to talk to her. It was the threat of getting in trouble with

Curley that caused many workers to avoid her. George didn?t want to get in any trouble

with Curley so he told Lennie not to ?even take a look at that bitch? (32). She was ignored

by both the farmhands and her own husband and because of this she was being forced into

loneliness.

George and Lennie are very different from all the other ranchers. Slim told George

that its ?funny how you an? him string along together? (39). Slim mentioned this to

George because most of the ranchers didn?t string along with anybody. Slim also told

George that most ranchers ?come in and get their bunk and work a month, and then they

quit and go out alone? (39). Most of the ranchers didn?t care about anybody unlike George

and Lennie.

Loneliness is one major unavoidable fact of life that not even the strongest can

avoid. During the story Of Mice and Men the reader discovered the many sources of

loneliness. Candy and Curley?s wife suffer from discrimination, which leads them to

loneliness. The intensity of each character?s loneliness varied and the effects were related

to the greatness of their lonely condition.


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