Loneliness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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Of Mice and Men Summative Essay
Mother Teresa once said, “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a story that focuses on individuals who battle against loneliness and isolation from society. The use of loneliness is an important theme in the book because it influences how the characters behave throughout the novel. Crooks is pushed into isolation by the white men on the ranch because he is black. On the other hand, Curley’s wife is isolated from society because of her gender. The characters, Curley’s wife and Crooks play a major role to the understanding of the theme of loneliness throughout the text.
The isolation experienced by Curley’s wife differs from loneliness
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Steinbeck uses the character, Crooks, to demonstrate the theme of isolation by using racism. Crooks has his “own bunk in a separate nigger room…he scattered personal possessions around the floor; for being alone he could leave things about,” (Steinbeck 20). Because he is black, Crooks’ freedom is restricted around the ranch and he is not allowed to socialize with the other men. For that reason, the way racism is used by the other ranchers to discriminate Crooks shows how Steinbeck used this method to define the theme of loneliness. Because of his race, Crooks is unable to make friends on the ranch. Crooks seems jealous of George and Lennie’s friendship and explained to Lennie how alone he has been with no friends because he is black. Crooks said, “S’pose you couldn’t go in the bunk house and play rummy ‘cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody - to be near him’ (Steinbeck 71). This piece of evidence shows the loneliness Crooks suffers from and how much he desperately wants a friendship because he is tired of being separated from everyone else. Although Crooks clarifies the theme of loneliness, Curley’s wife may be the loneliest character in the