Loneliness And Alienation In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

Words: 1017
Pages: 5

Loneliness and Alienation in “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men explores many recurring ideas and themes, one of the most prominent of which is alienation. Steinbeck’s characters live in a world plagued by loneliness and isolation. In the story of two migrant workers struggling to get by during the Great Depression, isolation has become the norm. Distrust is the quality of the modern world that causes people choose to live in isolation from each other. (“Of Mice and Men,” 246) racism and prejudice contribute to the alienation of minorities. In the novel “Of Mice and Men,” Steinbeck’s character development serves to emphasize the prominent theme of isolation that haunts his characters. The theme of loneliness is implied very early on in the novel. …show more content…
He is inherently set aside due to his race, and his disability and deep mistrust of others don’t help him in this regard. Crooks reveals how “ there ain’t a colored man on this ranch an’ there’s jus’ one family in soledad,” meaning that his isolation as an adult is a repetition of his childhood experience (Greisbach). He is developed as a weak character, much like Candy. Crooks is often excluded from the activities of the other ranch hands, even to the extent that he lives alone in the barn. All of his years of isolation have driven him to even alienate himself. He severs any possibilities of having relationships. Crooks makes this apparent when he tells Curley’s Wife, “you got no rights comin’ in a colored man’s room..,” even though both characters could benefit from the companionship (Greisbach). Curley’s Wife enjoys little freedom. She is confined to her husband’s ranch, and unallowed to cultivate any relationships. The ranch hands refuse to acknowledge her in fear of reprisals from Curley. Despite all her efforts, the men will not socialize with her, even after she blatantly explains her loneliness to them when she