An Analysis of Loneliness in Of Mice and Men, a Novel by John Steinbeck

Throughout John Steinbeck’s novel, Of Mice and Male, the author portrays lots of characters such as Lennie, Candy, Crooks, etc. as having physical or mental problems. These “disadvantaged” characters rapidly end up being to represent isolation and discrimination, in addition to giving the reader an insight into why characters such as Crooks have actually the personality connected with them due to their disabilities. For that reason, Steinbeck’s utilization of a lot of the character’s problems thus help in establishing the theme of loneliness and seclusion that prevails throughout the novel.

Among the most substantial disabilities in the novel would be Lennie’s intellectual disability due to how it highlights both his and George’s isolation from society. From the start of the unique, Lennie’s special needs rapidly ends up being the most visible due to his childish language and clumsiness. Along with that, Lennie’s disability avoids him from understanding even the most standard of guidelines, which for that reason makes him unable to communicate and express himself successfully with others. Since of his disability, he is hence completely depending on others such as George who particularly feels conflicted about his relationship with Lennie. Throughout the novel, George makes his frustrations over having to look after Lennie clear due to his continuous requirement to kept track of and his propensity to get in trouble. As George puts it, “I could live so simple and possibly have a lady.”(Steinbeck 7) which shows how he thinks Lennie is an element regarding why he feels lonesome because of his obligation to Lennie, and how mishaps such as the one at Weed force them to vacate. As for Lennie, he himself does not feel lonely however, he fears being deserted by George. Due to his impairment, Lennie is unable to see that Crooks was simply being hypothetical when he told Lennie, “… S’pose George don’t return no more.” (Steinbeck 78) which obviously surprised Lennie who could not even picture such a thing and hence challenges Scoundrels to require who injure George. Lennie’s unexpected shock to the thought of George abandoning him is extremely significant to the development of the theme of isolation within the novel due to the fact that it highlights a bottom line in Lennie’s character. The reader sees how Lennie’s confusion conveys fear and therefore shows how crucial his relationship is with George due to his impairment. By translating Lennie’s worry over George deserting him, the reader can therefore see that since of Lennie’s impairment, his reliance on George highlights Lennie’s alienation from society and how genuinely lonely Lennie is in society.

Another considerable impairment in the book is Candy’s senior age and his handicap which alienates him from the ranch due to his failure to do the work of the other ranch-hands. Due to the fact that of Sweet’s failure to do the demanding work on the cattle ranch, he hence has no power or state on the ranch and is considered “useless” due to the hierarchy on the ranch being generally identified by physical capability. Nevertheless, Carlson’s needs to have his old sheep-dog put down is what really highlights his solitude on the ranch. Carlson disregards Sweet’s pleas and tells him that the pet “… ain’t no good to you, Candy.”(Steinbeck 49) which accidentally reminds him of the incapacitating results of age on his body as well. Candy’s subsequent decision to remain quiet after allowing his canine to be shot demonstrate how alone he is on the cattle ranch and the lack of assistance from the other ranch-hands even further support that truth. After the decision is made to have the dog shot, ranch-hands such as Slim, “… looked at him for a minute and after that looked down at his hands;”(Steinbeck 54) and George who” … brought the cards together tightly and studied the backs of them,”(Steinbeck 54) certainly show that nobody in the ranch wishes to attend to the “elephant in the space”. The main factor as to why Sweet picks to separate himself from the ranch was not even if of the loss of his canine, however also because of Carlson’s demands to have the dog “put down” which represents the ranch sacking Carlson over the exact same reasons that the pet is shot for: old age and special needs.

Finally, another character whose disabilities are specifically substantial is Crooks who willingly and yet unwillingly selects to separate himself from the cattle ranch. Referred to as having, “… a crooked back where a horse kicked him,”(Steinbeck 22) and “… a nigger”(Steinbeck 22) which demonstrates how both his handicap and race are perceived as disabilities by the cattle ranch due to their hierarchy and racism. Since of his status, he is entirely separated by the other ranch-men and is just given a little room in the stables so that he is separated from the others in the bunkhouse. Due to his treatment and approval that he is not desired on the ranch, Crooks declares that he values his privacy and keeps a hostile personality towards others. Nevertheless, in reality Scoundrels actually longs for social interaction and he informs Lennie that, “A person goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody,” (Steinbeck 80) which brings the reader some insight regarding why Crooks acts the method he does. In reality, Lennie’s encounter with him reveals that he has a “soft side” and a desire to be dealt with as a human being, despite society abandoning people like him and Lennie who are thus bonded by their specials needs. Therefore, the reader can see the catastrophe in the novel being represented by Crook’s disabilities. He comprehends that his “impairments” avoid him from being accepted by the cattle ranch and society, yet he still desires a person to talk with. Thus, it is clear that Criminal’s hopelessness and seclusion in a discriminative society stresses the style of solitude and how characters such as he and Lennie are discriminated against simply since of their specials needs and problems.

Throughout the novel, characters such as Lennie, Candy, Crooks, and so on all showed how their disabilities was among the significant factors in their loneliness. Whether it be mental retardation, elderly age, and even race it is clear that society’s bias shows how damaging it is to the characters. John Steinbeck manages to successfully enhance the theme of loneliness in the novel due to his focus on each character’s seclusion from society because of their disabilities. For that reason, Steinbeck shows the reader the repercussions of a society that pushes away those with any kind of special needs be it a physical or mental one. In general, each character’s impairment emphasizes their low position and seclusion in Steinbeck’s social hierarchy and how those not able to promote themselves will never be able to if society continues with that state of mind.

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