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Loneliness

Of Mice and Men is a colorful piece of American literature that depicts the lives of multiple individuals in the Great Depression over the course of a few days. The author, John Steinbeck, approaches several themes and topics throughout the novel and really makes the reader think and ponder over the issues being discussed. One key theme that is always present in Of Mice and Men is the idea of loneliness. In the novel loneliness can be found in the relationships characters have with others, sexism, and racism. Even the town that the novel takes place in is Soledad, which is Spanish for loneliness. Of Mice and Men accurately shows the hardships that loneliness can inflict on people in the Great Depression and even today and is a topic that a myriad of readers can connect with and sympathies for.
Candy, an aging swamper and former ranch worker, is a character that experiences the heartbreak of becoming lonely. Many can attest to having an extremely good friend that they lose whether it be because of work, personal reasons, and in Candy’s case death. When occurrences like Candy’s incident transpire one can feel as if the world is crumbling all around them. A gaping hole is left in Candy’s heart after his dog was shot, and regret is present because he did not do it himself. Candy loses the only friend he has, and his disability and age hinders his chances of gaining new friends. Loneliness can envelope an individual and make their logic warped and more susceptible to the idea of utopia and serenity. This can be seen in people today especially in teenagers who are willing to please others in exchange for friendship and similar concepts which mostly ends in bullying and broken hearts. In this circumstance Candy is willing to believe i...

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...they have chosen for themselves and always dream of a better place. Curley must know that his wife is unhappy, and he probably does not want to be around someone who is never pleased. Curley’s wife’s form of loneliness derives from the concept of pushing people away when one is unhappy.
Loneliness is a theme that is always visible when one reads Of Mice and Men, and the forms of loneliness discussed are still applicable to today’s life. Many of the characters admit to suffering from profound loneliness and it really captures the life people were living during the Great Depression. John Steinbeck uses this novel to uncover and chronicle the circumstances that cause human suffering during this era. Each character’s loneliness is relatable though, and can be empathized with even today.

Works Cited

Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993. Print.
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