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Published: 04-09-2019

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The Theme of Loneliness in Of Mice and Men

Loneliness is debatably one of the most horrible feelings existent within society. It strikes every living soul at one point or yet another, as it requires an immensely deep emotional toll. A profound portion of what contributes to the feeling of loneliness is a lack of emotional empathy from others. Loneliness has the power to jade one’s perception and mindset drastically, as a result wreaking detrimental effects on one’s behavior, and eventually altering him or her as a particular person as effectively. Throughout the novel Of Mice and Guys, Steinbeck portrays the prevalent theme of loneliness, along with the pervasive toll that it takes, through the depth of his characterization of George, Curley’s wife, and Crooks.

One particular of the first characters in the novel who was struck by the effects of loneliness was George Milton. For the longest time, George has been Lennie’s caretaker considering that Lennie suffered from mental retardation and was unable to care for himself. A considerable disadvantage of becoming Lennie’s caretaker was that Lennie constantly unknowingly gets himself into key difficulty, therefore causing both him and George to shed each job they get. As a result, they by no means stayed in any 1 spot for extended, so George in no way got the possibility to develop relationships with any individual, which was a single contributing issue to his loneliness. In addition, he was not fond of many ranch hands either, stating, “I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no excellent. They do not have no exciting. After a long time they get imply. They get wantin’ to fight all the time” (Steinbeck 41). George expressed his aggravation with the other ranch hands, and it was apparent that he does not have a strong friendship with any of them. Two ranch hands he especially by no means got along with had been Curley and Carlson. Curely and Carlson had been very emotionally superficial people who were not in touch with anyone’s feelings. Following George killed Lennie in the final scene, Carlson noticed that he was saddened by Lennie’s death and responded by saying, “Now what the hell ya suppose is eatin’ them two guys?” (107). This lack of empathy developed a barrier amongst George and Carlson, along with other guys like Carlson, for they can't emotionally connect or forge a friendship due to the lack of understanding.

The only individual that George did genuinely care for and view as a pal was Lennie. Even so, due to Lennie’s mental situation, he only served as physical firm to George despite how George always told him that they have every other, George was by no means capable to connect with Lennie on any type of deep, emotional level since Lennie had the mindset of a child. Consequently, George was usually extremely lonely on emotional terms. His sense of loneliness was frequently conveyed by means of his solitaire games he was so lonely that he had to play a card game on his personal. Ultimately, at the finish of the novel, George lost his only supply of consistent care and business when he had to shoot his own companion and only accurate pal. At that point, George lost anything even more important than just Lennie he lost his distinctive purpose in life as effectively. This was George’s final onset, for he has now reached his full capacity of loneliness and discontent in life, which is an empty void dusted with crushed dreams of false hope that can never ever again be filled.

Another character diseased by the prevalence of loneliness was Curley’s wife. She married Curley, but despises him, for she in no way loved him. She does not like talking to Curley, and with no a single else on the ranch to talk to, she has sunken into an abyss of loneliness. Her loneliness took a drastic toll on her behavior towards other people. She was so eager for interest that she would go as far as acting inappropriately flirtatious, malevolently cruel, or even overtly insecure. She usually roamed about the ranch, asking numerous guys if they have observed Curley around. She behaved in a seductive manner, while always making sure that she looked her ideal, for she had “full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily created up. Her fingernails have been red. Her hair hung in small rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton housedress and red mules, on the actions of which had been little bouquets of red ostrich feathers” (Steinbeck 31). She does so, because she was so desperate for attention that she felt as if this was the only way that she can receive consideration from other people. Nevertheless, sadly for Curley’s wife, most of the ranch hands treated her with hostility and tried to ignore her to steer clear of acquiring themselves in trouble. Her loneliness has also led to her occasional sadistic behavior as effectively. Given that her loneliness made her so unhappy and insecure, her ego was at times fed by deliberately insulting and condescending towards other people, like how she did to Lennie, Candy, and Crooks when she tried to degrade them by calling them “a bunch of bindle stiffs—a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep” (71). By placing down other people, Curley’s wife reassured herself that there are folks with lives worse than hers, which eventually gave her a temporary ego increase and created her feel much better about herself for the time being. This proved how insecure she was about herself. Even so, at root, her intentions had been not purely malevolent she was just an empty, lonely soul in need of a buddy to speak to. She even said so herself when she confessed to Lennie, “I get lonely. You can speak to folks, but I can’t talk to no one but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anyone?” (87). Her loneliness clearly took a heavy emotional toll on her, leaving her feeling insecure and deeply saddened, in addition to altering her personality into one particular that is oftentimes seductively malevolent. It seemed as if her only objective in her day-to-day life was to roam about searching for a person to give her attention, for that was all she was ever shown performing. The sad component was that regardless of all of her efforts, Curley’s wife often failed to find a pal who was prepared to speak to her, hence leaving her abyss of loneliness open to even more wear and erosion this was a discomfort that was only able to be terminated in death.

A single of the loneliest characters in the novel was Crooks, the black steady buck. His immense loneliness was due to the white ranch hands’ prejudice and discrimination against blacks. Unlike everybody else, Crooks was forced to sleep alone in his own space, whereas all of the other guys slept in the bunkhouse. To add, the males by no means invite Crooks to play cards with them or go out with them to town either. As a result, Crooks’s forced isolation and deep void of loneliness has taken detrimental effects on his character and perception of other folks. His loneliness turned him into a extremely cold and bitter soul, and he typically shies away in reaction to other people, due to the fact no one particular has ever been sort adequate to him to make him feel comfy adequate to open up. His superficial hardness served as a defense mechanism to shield his insecurely weak and vulnerable self hiding beneath his exterior. Due to his loneliness, he often lost his grasp of who he actually was, so he took on a different persona as an alternative. He was so used to being in isolation that he could not aid but respond in a harsh and hostile manner when Lennie peaked into his doorway: “You got no correct to come in my room. This here’s my room. No one got any right in here but me” (Steinbeck 68). In addition, Crooks’s persistent loneliness opened up the gate that led him to become slightly sadistic at one particular point as effectively. Right after speaking to Lennie for a even though, Crooks realized that Lennie has a mental situation, as a result giving Crooks the upper hand in regards to intelligence and frequent sense. He used this to his advantage and emotionally tortured Lennie by telling him that George might have gotten hurt and may well not come back. Crooks’s ego was temporarily happy by praying on Lennie’s weakness. All of his life, he has been treated as if he have been less than human, and he has been vulnerable to everybody, which has sunken him into a deep depression of loneliness now, the tables have turned for a moment, and it was Lennie who was at the moment vulnerable to him. Following Crooks realized that he should not attempt to trick Lennie any longer, he owned up to his loneliness, and even admitted that “a guy needs somebody?to be close to him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no distinction who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I inform ya. I tell ya a guy gets as well lonely an’ he gets sick” (72-73). Crooks openly admitted to how he gets sick of getting so lonely, and just as quickly as he finally managed to open up and expose himself to the outdoors planet, he emotionally withdrew back within himself just as rapidly, for having permanent company and a genuine likelihood of surfacing from his abyss of loneliness was also very good to be correct.

The prevalence and pervasiveness of loneliness was adequately conveyed by means of the darkened depth of George, Curley’s wife, and Crooks in John Steinbeck’s riveting novel, Of Mice and Guys. Loneliness is a uniquely painful feeling that exudes an aura of emptiness, in which plagues its victims. The feeling of loneliness is so strong that it has the energy to jade folks of life, as effectively as take a detrimental toll on one’s emotional mindset, just as it has for George, Curley’s wife, and Crooks. Loneliness drew George and Crooks even deeper into their abyss, major them down a path to emotional destruction. On the other hand, loneliness drew Curley’s wife as well far away from herself as her cries of desperation for consideration were only answered in death. A single of the most substantial aspects that contributed to all of the characters’ loneliness was their lack of empathy and emotional understanding for every single other. It was really ironic that despite how loneliness struck practically absolutely everyone, no one seemed to understand each other’s loneliness. Their loneliness has emotionally isolated them so drastically to the point where they are no longer sensitive to the emotions of other individuals, and even often, themselves. It is actually disheartening to see how pervasive and strong the effects of loneliness are. For these characters, the prevalence of loneliness will only continue to ravenously eat away at their lives as their empty voids nevertheless yearn to be filled.
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