Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world...They got no family.
They don't belong no place...With us, it ain't like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us." When George states this he’s explaining their friendship and assures the relationship for himself and Lennie. George relates that loneliness is the main reason for his failure to achieve his dream, and Lennie is dependant on George, because he literally cannot live without him. Essentially humans need someone they can lean on for protection, friendship, and wisdom. In the novel,
Of Mice and Men
, friendship is deeply valued to outweigh the loneliness each of the characters are feeling. Each of the characters in this novel strives for a true and lasting friendship. They are helpless in the positions they’re in, and to feel about themselves they need to belittle and destroy others in similar (or worse) circumstances. One might ask why they wouldn’t just become friends with eachother. Well, to answer that, they’re lonely, not desperate. None of them really have anything in common, besides being on the same farm.
They don’t want a short forced friendship that’s bound to end in flames. Like during the scene in the forest, George states, “Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world… They got no family. They don’t belong no place… With us, it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.” He’s comparing himself and
Lennie to the rest of the farmfolk, and saying that they’ve got it better. They’re better off because they have each other. The first section of the book is set at a pleasant and peaceful river a few miles south of Soledad. The first four letters sole meaning only. Also, Soledad means lonely in Spanish. The river seems very secluded and isolated, nothing but nature. It’s incredibly peaceful compared to the hectic lifestyle of the ranch. Everyone in the first setting was at peace, and everyone at the ranch was hostile. The settings are just one of the many ways that Steinbeck establishes the theme of loneliness. The main point of interest in this novel would be George and Lennie, but they aren’t the only one’s that have a sense of loneliness. Even though George and Lennie are doomed to a life of wandering aimlessly for work, they aren’t the loneliest because they have each other's companionship, they know what it feels like to have someone care for you. Crook’s is another important character that represents the terms of loneliness well. He acquired the name for his crooked back, but is still a respectable worker and is very self sufficient. Crook’s sleeps in the barn, apart from everyone else. He’s racially discriminated against, being the only black person on the ranch. Curley’s wife in particular is a bully towards him as she thinks she has power over him, since she’s married to the bosses’ son, and she’s white. He states, “ A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody.” Crook’s longs for a friendship, but nobody will provide, because of his race. The excitement is clearly shown in his actions when Lennie turns up to talk to him. Lennie only talks to Crooks when all the other men are out in town. Crooks is quite cruel to Lennie and keeps telling him George will never come back. He offers to be a part of their American Dream, saying he’ll hoe the garden. He dreams to be a part of someone's
dream, and that he was treated equally to white people. Although Curley’s wife is higher in authority, she’s also very isolated. She has nobody to talk to, and she’s married to a man that she doesn’t love, and he doesn’t