Desire for Companionship in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Essay

Desire for Companionship in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Essay

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Imagine being discriminated against because of your ethnicity; or being the only woman on a ranch, stuck in a loveless marriage, when all you really want is someone to talk to. What about having to kill that friend, and bury all chances of breaking free from the life of the average migrant worker? How would you feel? These scenarios in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men illustrate the need and desire for companionship in life. There's Crooks, the negro stable buck; Curley's wife, whose marriage to Curley hasn't exactly been lively; and George and Lennie, whose friendship is strong enough to get them to a better life and out of the negetive cycle that the average migrant worker became trapped in during the Great Depression.
Crooks, the black stable buck, is isolated from the community of migrant workers because of his racial status. When Lennie goes into the barn to see his puppy, he and Crooks have a conversation. “'Why ain't you wanted?' Lennie asked. 'Cause I'm black. They play cards in there, but I can't play because I'm black'” (68). Lennie is too kind-hearted and intellectually slow to visualize the apparent racial boundary that sets Crooks aside from Lennie and the rest of the workers. Crooks is so isolated from the rest of the workers that he says he “can't” play cards, not that he isn't allowed to, which means that the racial boundary is like a wall Crooks cannot cross. Because he is black, Crooks believes that he cannot play cards with the white men. He can't get over the racial boundary, and believes he will be forever separated from the white men. In the beginning of chapter 4, Steinbeck describes Crooks' living space. “Crooks, the Negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the...


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...cause they have each other, and aren't alone like other workers, they are capable of doing to much more, such as their dream of “'[living] off the fatta the lan''” (14). They do not feel like their lives are headed nowhere, because they will always have each other to talk to and be with and rely on. By valuing their companionship, Lennie and George can do anything they set their mind to.
In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, the need for companionship is shown throughout the book. Crooks, Curley's wife, and George and Lennie all illustrate that you need trustworthy friendships to live your life to its full potential and pursue your dreams.. That is why I believe that, had Lennie lived, he and George could have taken their companionship further and gotten the little cottage they wanted, enabling them to achieve their dream of “'[living] off the fatta the lan''” (14).

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