Loneliness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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ohn Steinbeck, the creator of the novella, Of Mice & Men, uses the setting and characterisation as a tool to convey the main themes of loneliness, and the hope of the American Dream. In the novella, the overall characterisation of each individual, and the despairing setting of 1937 California during the Great Depression, supports the theme of loneliness and promotes the desire for the American Dream.

The use of characterisation within the novella ultimately supports the main theme of loneliness. The introduction of Crooks to the story suits the timeline of 1937 with racism still prevalent within society. Crooks is left to sleep on a hay bail by himself in a room off the side of the barn, which amplifies the racism that was seen within 1937
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The foreshadowing of death through Candy’s dog, and the snake, supports the loneliness and builds strong characterisation of individuals. The introduction of the novella at the beautiful Salinas River begins with both George and Lennie relaxing by the water. Steinbeck foreshadows the fate of Lennie with the use of George. This is done by George warning Lennie to come to the river if he ever gets into trouble. The snake in the water is a recall of the Garden of Eden story, in which the snake (the force of evil and betrayal) causes trouble within humanity. The appearance of the snake gives the readers the impression that a terrible event will occur. Additionally, whilst George and Lennie are sitting by the river, a heron tries to eat the snake, and fails, with the snake making a getaway. In the conclusion of the novella, the heron snatches the snake unexpectedly and kills it. This act symbolizes George unexpectedly shooting Lennie, with both the snake and Lennie oblivious to their fate. One of the main instances of foreshadowing is the killing of Candy’s dog, the act of Carlson shooting Candy’s dog is symbolic of the death of Lennie, with Candy having regrets, ‘I ought to of shot that dog myself’ explaining that he ‘shouldn't ought to of let no stranger shoot [his] dog’. The use of foreshadowing and symbolism overall adds a feature of dramatic tension and creates a more captivating story …show more content…
As the novella progresses, both Candy and Crooks join in on the hope to own land. Nonetheless, none of the characters except George are fit for the American dream. Firstly, Lennie is somewhat incapable due to his mental state, Crooks due to his crooked spine, and Candy due to the loss of his arm. The first to opt out of the dream is Crooks as he knows it is highly unlikely their dream will come true. Furthermore, Candy later realises the dream will not come true upon the discovery of Curley’s Wife’s body. The hope of reaching the American dream is shown through George saying, ‘if we can get jus' a few dollars in the poke we'll shove off and go up the American River and pan gold….we might hit a pocket.’ The unreachable goal essentially suggests to the readers that they will remain in the life they are now forever, ultimately adding to the theme of