The element of loneliness and isolation discussed in "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck.

Essay by shadow9High School, 11th gradeA-, September 2005

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Steinbeck's novel, "Of Mice and Men", teaches a grim lesson about the nature of human existence and isolation. The novel emphasizes the loneliness and powerlessness of its characters, who must take comfort from insubstantial dreams of a better life. Nearly all of the characters, including Lennie, Candy, and Crooks, admit, at one time or another, to having a profound sense of loneliness and isolation. We clearly see that each desires the comfort of a friend, but will settle for the attentive ear of a stranger. Perhaps the most powerful example of this tendency is in when all the ranch hands go to town, leaving Crooks, Lennie, and Candy behind. They desperately admit to each other their fear of being cast off because of their disabilities; Lennie for his mental disability, Crooks for his skin colour, and Candy for his old age. Being outcasts, Lennie, Crooks, and Candy discuss the dream of owning their own farm, where they will be respected and considered useful.

In this section of the novel, Steinbeck emphasizes the value of relationships by expressing the novel's social outcasts' continual search for companionship. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that men like Candy and Crooks idealize dignity and respect in such a way given the harsh, lonely conditions under which they live.

All throughout his discussion with Lennie, Crooks, the black stable buck who takes his name from his crooked back, admits his extreme loneliness. At first, he turns Lennie away, hoping to prove his point that if he, as a black man, is not allowed in the other ranch hands quarters, then the other men are not allowed in his. "You got no right to come in my room...Nobody got any right in here but me" (Steinbeck 68). Nonetheless, his desire for company ultimately...