Of Mice and Men-Isolation
!.?.!? Isolation and loneliness are concepts that develop throughout the novella “Of Mice and Male”. Steinbeck utilizes the inequality amongst society in the mid 1930’s during the excellent depression to make this idea worth discovering. The cattle ranch workers, Crooks and Curley’s partner’s characters emphasises the concept. Techniques such as meaning and setting helped establish the ideas and make them worth learning about.
The isolation/loneliness of the character Curley’s wife was worth discovering because it showed the reader the effects of how lady were discriminated against in the mid 1930’s Curley’s better half’s character is written as easily dismissed not even provided her own name and continuously described as ‘Curley’s other half’ a belonging to somebody. She’s bound to a loveless marital relationship and tries to get compassion from the other employees to feed her solitude which Steinbeck utilizes to portray Curley’s other half as a ‘tramp’.
Steinbeck also uses the colour red as a symbol of her as an impure woman in her description “Her fingernails were red … red mules … little bouquets of red ostrich feathers”. Curley’s Spouse is the only female on the cattle ranch which is set a long way from any other individuals she can socialise with and Curley’s possessive nature leaves her with a little group of people she can confide in. Curley’s better half’s solitude represents a ladies’s solitude in the male controlled society of the 1930’s.
When she finally opens up to Lennie she reveals her loneliness “Think I do not like to speak to someone ever’ once and a while” she states this almost in such a way where she’s blaming the other ranch workers for the way they treat her. It is only after her death she’s written about in an innocent manner “the ache for attention all gone from her face. She was very pretty and basic” this made it worth discovering since it showed how unequally females were treated for Steinbeck to just show her devoid of her solitude in death. Scoundrels is a black male and his race makes him treated unequally among the other employees.
That Crooks is forced to live in the barn with the animals demonstrates society’s view of blacks as subhuman, more fit to sleep with animals then males. This makes Scoundrels a character that represents how race can make you separated in society during the mid-1930s. The strategy of setting adds to the style of isolation. He lives in a little space which is depicted as a dark and foreboding place. “People do not enter a coloured male’s space quite” he mentions this in a conversation he has with Lennie in which he discreetly admits his loneliness.
Crooks loneliness is rather satisfied when Lennie and Candy sees his space. Crooks speak to Lennie about his friendship with George “You got George … S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk-house and play rummy ’cause you was black” his jealousy of George and Lennies friendship is evident in this quote. When Candy is available in a different side of Crooks is revealed “it was challenging for Scoundrels to hide his pleasure with anger” even just a little bit of friendship can make a difference to Crooks’s stand-off approach with individuals around him.
Curley’s partner goes into and see’s Crooks with business due to her own isolation she then cruelly advises him of his position in society and the risks he faces as a black man she informs him “… you keep you place then, Nigga. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’ even funny” This makes the concept of isolation/loneliness worth learning more about due to the fact that it reveals the impacts of how when blacks were dealt with socially inferiorly throughout the 1930’s.
The great anxiety makes the concept of isolation and seclusion worth learning more about because it demonstrates how the economic disaster produced a society where everyone put their own dreams and requires ahead of making significant relationships. This is reflected when Curley’s better half states “You’re all frightened of each other … Ever’one of you’s scared the rest is goin’ to get something on you”. Steinbeck reveals that the males had to do with protecting their tricks and their own skins instead of connecting to satisfy their isolation.
The great anxiety was a time in America in the 1930’s after the war when the soldiers came back there weren’t adequate jobs for them all. This is the factor for the ranch workers taking a trip from location to place. Being migrant employees added to the inability to form lasting relationships given that they’re continuously on the relocation. This is shown on the ranch even as the characters are all in such close proximity to each other each one of them feels a sense of solitude. The dream of the farm symbolises the desire to end the ranch employees seclusion and solitude as they anticipate the friendship and owning their own land.
A lot of characters latch on to the concept even when the reality of the dream farm is slim. The dream farm ends up being a beacon of hope to Crooks, Sweet, George and Lennie as it symbolises completion of being at the bottom of the social ranks but the hope is demolished when Lennie passes away bounding them all back into a life sentence of seclusion and solitude. Steinbeck makes the concept of isolation and loneliness worth learning more about by demonstrating how the great anxiety and inequality amongst society in the 1930’s affected peoples relationships.
Characters is one method the author makes the concept worth finding out about; Criminals being African American makes him separated and its emphasised by utilizing the setting of having him off in his own isolated room, Curley’s Partner being a ladies in the 1930’s not able to live out her own dreams so desperate for compassion it leads to her own death and the cattle ranch workers feeling so helpless and stuck in the middle of tasks continuously moving implying they hold on to anything that gives them the chance to go out. Steinbeck reveals using techniques how harmful isolation can be through the loss of life and the crushing of dreams.