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Loneliness in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck essay

Essay Topic:

The interpretationof the theme of loneliness in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Essay Questions:

Why does John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men makes the reader experience fixed feelings?

Why is John Steinbecks novel Of Mice and Men is considered to be one of the most prominent works of the time of the Great Depression?

How does Lennies death change George?

Thesis Statement:

This is a book about the last hope that two people have, the hope they have put each day of their life in, the hope that leads to desperation and loneliness.

 

Loneliness in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck essay

 

The best laid schemes o' mice and men

Gang aft agley [often go wrong]

And leave us nought but grief and pain

For promised joy!

Robert Burns

1.Introduction

Analyzing John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men makes the reader experience fixed feelings. As John Steinbeck himself is known to be an extraordinary writer the book Of Mice and Men completely confirms this belief. John Steinbecks novel Of Mice and Men is one of the most prominent works of the time of the Great Depression, written in 1937. This novel reveals the reader the life of people of that period, their immense desire to become happy and the loneliness they feel in their hearts. It shows the dream of two people that is ruined, and as they have nothing except this dream after they lose it everything is senseless. Destiny forces them to stay tete-a-tete with themselves and their whole being is loneliness, because no one is able to help each of them after what happened. This book consisting of one hundred pages is the symbolic description of the dream that runs away after having been torn into pieces and Lenny Small was the one to destroy this dream. This is a book about the last hope that two people have, the hope they have put each day of their life in, the hope that leads to desperation and loneliness.

2.Dreaming and loneliness again

Lennie Small, a huge but mentally retarded young man and George Milton, an average guy, are friends that have a common dream they want to achieve. They try to find it in the ranch of Soledad.Occasionally, Soledad means loneliness in Spanish and this describes the place better than any other description. Only George and Lennie work hard and are always together, trying to earn money in order to achieve their dream to buy a ranch of their own in Soledad. Before they enter the ranch they make a stop at a creek. George says that if Lennie ever gets into any trouble he should run and hide in the creek until George comes to rescue him. Everything these guys do in the ranch in the Salinas Valley is they strive to survive and to get the least that is possible to get. They face rejection from the ranchers at first, and then it gets a little better, but still Lennie faces the hatred from Curly the ranch owners son. As Lennie is very strong he once starts touching Curly wifes hair and kills her. He has to escape to the creek. George and Lennies dream is ruined and George comes and kills Lennie at the creek, as he understands that there is no hope for them anymore.What happens to George after that? Something that would have happened to any man, when he understands that there is no hope left. Him and Lennie working hard every day in order to realize their dream was the last opportunity to LIVE, and not to exist. Desperation Hurtand loneliness again.

 

3. The message of the book

The book is very tragic. Steinbeck focuses much on the ranchers in his novel showing the anger they had for George and Lennie, and the isolation they experienced because of that. They were aliens there, and though till Lennies death they stay together, they are still lonely and have nobody to support them. Nevertheless it is not the ranchers, but Lennies strength that he cannot hold leads to the consequences of a ruined dream for both of the man.

A big message delivered through the case of Candy and the old dog becomes the key to novel resolution. As soon as the dog got old and became useless the rancher suggests Candy to shot the dog. Candy does it, but later thinks that he should have shot himself, too. Candy shot the dog to put it out of the misery it was facing. The same thing George did to Lennie. Georges only reason for living was the achievement of his dream to have a ranch. Lennie destroys his dream and George realizes that he has to shot him in order to put him out of misery he decides to live out this loneliness and desperation on his own. The book shows the most important the incapability of people to escape their fate and thoughts, as people during the Great Depression had nothing but hope and if the hope was gone everything was gone. It became more than lonelinessit was a fatality.

It is not just a story of Lennie and George and their loneliness in the world but also a story about all the people during Great Depression and their lonely hopes that never came to life and still they got a little difference: Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They dont belong no place...With us it aint like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us"[Steinbeck 13-14]. Steinbeck does not get into a general analysis of the characters but he reveals them and their attitudes through little things. And this creates a perfect base for understanding that Lennie was just the way he was and there was nothing to do about it. He was just a man, the same with George. And the truth is that he believed that they are different: We are different. Tell it how it is, George[Steinbeck, 34]. They were different, lonely but different because they had Georges dream.

Loneliness was a terrible load in the heart of all these people of that time including Lennie and George. Steinbeck reveals the theme of loneliness through Georges words: I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That aint no good. They dont have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They get wantin to fight all the time[Steinbeck, 45]. That is what loneliness made with people back then. Lennie was the only creature that made George different from others and his tragedy is that he has to kill this creature with his own hands. The end of everything in the book is Georges silent soul torments of losing a dream and being lonely again.

4. Conclusion

Lennies and Georges dream to have a piece of land was like a dream to be happy, but as Crooks said: nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. Its just in their head. Theyre all the time talkin about it, but its jus in their head [Steinbeck, 81]. What George and Lennie did was they were staying together sharing their loneliness and alienation.

Bibliography:

1. Steinbeck, John Of Mice and Men/Penguin/1993.

2. Of Mice and Men theme analysis

 

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