Loneliness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Pages: 4

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, first published in 1937, is a novel set in the context of the 1929 Great Depression in America. The Nobel Prize-winning author tells a story about George Milton and Lennie Small, two drifters in search of work, while skilfully tackling the themes of loneliness and the importance of dreams. Steinbeck explores themes including loneliness and the importance of dreams by utilising setting, characterisation and the writing style of dialogue.
The central theme of loneliness is explored in the novel by Steinbeck’s use of setting, characterisation, and the colloquial writing style of dialogue. The context of the Great Depression during the 1930s in America is used by Steinbeck to portray the theme of isolation through most characters in the book. In the novel, Crooks, Slim, Candy and other ranch workers are characters that reflect their extreme feelings of isolation due to the harsh conditions they are enduring.
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Steinbeck’s use of setting underlines the importance of these hopes to the characters in the context of the Great Depression. The author demonstrates how characters such as George have their dreams and beliefs to keep them going with their work. For instance, Steinbeck narrates the dream George and Lennie share – to own a small farm and live on it in freedom. In this aspiration of theirs, George longs for independence whereas simple-minded Lennie mainly desires to tend soft-furred rabbits. The importance of this dream to them is portrayed when George states how they will go on like they are “gonna buck barley the rest of their lives” before they have enough money to buy the farm (p. 61). Steinbeck conveys the theme of importance of dreams by demonstrating how the major characters have their beliefs and plans as the foundation that keeps them working hard to survive the