Of Mice And Men - Theme
Length: 974 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
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"A guy needs somebody--to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick." (Steinbeck 72-3). Being alone is one of the worst things I can possible think of. One of the themes in the book Of Mice and Men exemplifies this as the quote describes. Crooks, and the black stable buck, say this quote. He describes to Lennie the pain he goes through to live his life without anyone to talk to and to just be with. The other workers on the farm would not socialize with Crooks besides the horseshoes game the men would play in the evening. Otherwise Crooks would occupy his time alone, reading books. This does not make Crooks happy his books did not fulfill his needs socially. He needed another person to talk to, or just be with. It didn’t even matter whom, just a person. Lennie just happened to have been there for Crooks at that moment. Everyday people do not give enough consideration to those who live their lives without someone. Humans are social beings that need some kind of connection with others to function properly. Without a social bond a depressed state can overwhelmingly "down" a person. People also need the opportunity to brag to others a little. Curly’s wife in the same novel states the following, "Well I ain’t told this to nobody before. Maybe I ought’n to. I don’t like Curly. He ain’t a nice fella. Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes—all them nice clothes they wear" (Steinbeck 89). She feels the need to tell others how great she could have been and the hopes and dreams she may someday have. She shows her feelings of hope in life. This can relate to everyday students. College guys love to tell stories from the long weekends in college. It makes a person feel good when they can tell a story filled with sarcasm and excitement to make others get a feeling of admiration. Humans live for this type of self-fulfillment.
Loneliness is what people complain about when being without another person to socialize with. One may feel lonely when: you’re alone and you don’t you have a choice not to be, you are facing challenges in your life with school, a new town, job, or other changes, you feel there’s no one in your life with whom you can share your feelings with, you feel unacceptable, unlovable, and not worthwhile (Loneliness 1).
These are real life feelings that many in our country have and feel constantly. Curley’s wife in Of Mice and Men, also has a feeling of loneliness. She has the opportunity to always talk to her husband, but never to other, unique individuals. She says, "What’s the matter with me? Ain’t I got the right to talk to nobody? Whatta they think I am anyways? You’re a nice guy. I don’t know why I can’t talk to you. I ain’t doin’ no harm to you" (Steinbeck 87-8). She feels that she should be able to talk to a variety of people. One person does not satisfy her social standards for communication.
Loneliness is also widely taken with misconceptions. College students often believe that loneliness is a "sign of weakness, or immaturity" (Loneliness 2). Other students believe, "there’s something wrong with me, these are supposed to be the best years of my life" and "I’m the only one who feels this way." (Loneliness).
In the book Of Mice and Men, Crooks starts to develop a belief that loneliness is a defect in his personality. He seems to avoid all the other men on the ranch after the day is over. He is afraid of being alone, and yet he is antisocial. It is likely for not being around others for long periods of time can have some effect on personality. In fact, people with these cases have greater difficulty in taking certain risks, asserting themselves, initiate social contact, introduce themselves to others, and participate in-groups. Loneliness can make oneself less responsive to others, and lead to mistrust. Also there is more likelihood of evaluating themselves with negative feelings and expect rejection (Loneliness 2).
Other studies show great negative effects of loneliness. In adults 65 years and older, reports show a high incidence of loneliness that tends to be admitted into nursing homes sooner than people who are not lonely. A study proves this theory of deterioration to lonely individuals. Researches interviewed 3,763 rural Iowans living in Washington and Iowa counties. The people interviewed were at least 65 years old and were studied upon information of age, gender, medical conditions, marital status and social contact. Four years later these people researched were contacted and studied in their mental and physical decline. Researchers found that when put into homes or individuals living on their own without much social contact led to the deterioration of their mental and physical state (Loneliness May 1).
The problems can be solved easily in terms of making others who feel lonely, to feel social once again. The answer is that everyone should take apart in staying in touch with others that we know. People should not have to feel alone, afraid, and rejected from the social sphere in our lives. If it is we feeling alone, loneliness will not last forever. Practicing to get to know others and going out to meet people can help break us from habits of insecurity. When it’s impossible to be with others and no social activity is available, use alone time positively. Don’t vegetate, and use time to stay busy, or entertained (Loneliness 2). Loneliness should not be viewed as a problem in individuals, but as something that can be fixed.