Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck Essay

Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck Essay

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Thomas Carlyle, philosopher, once stated, “Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.” There is nothing in this world more heartbreaking than the lack of healthy relationships. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, is an insightful story about man-to-man bonds. It is set during the 1930s, when the United States was going through the Great Depression. At this time, everyone, including migrant workers similar to the ones in our story, had difficulties finding secure jobs. This resulted in an attitude of every man for himself. Some of the characters in the story can connect well with others; however, the rest have a hard time fitting in. Slim, the jerkline skinner, is one of the people who can blend in with the other ranch workers. This is due to his gravity of manner and his overall kindness. In contrast, characters like Candy, Curley’s wife, and Crooks are alienated by the others.
Candy is an old swamper working at the ranch who is missing his right hand, due to an accident at the ranch. On this farm, he is in charge of introducing new workers and cleaning out the buildings. Because of his disability, Candy is plainly aware that he will be canned very soon. At some point, it will not be profitable for the boss to continue paying Candy, due to the financial crisis. Consequently, Candy will not be able to get another job, and he will need to go to a poorly funded old age retirement home. As night falls on the first day, Carlson comes in, commenting on the atrocious stench of Candy’s old dog. Being the insensitive person he is, Carlson pushes Candy to allow the shooting of his dog. “Candy looked for help from face to face. . . [and] looked a long time at Slim for reversal. And Slim gave him none”(45). This quote reinforces t...


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...ooks down, and she reminds Crooks how easy it would be to get him lynched. Crooks then retreats into his protective shell. Due to this, Crooks decides to save face and not go along with the trio. By the close, Crooks is once again just a normal black stable buck, inferior to the white ranchers, without any hope of redemption.
The isolation of Candy, Curley’s wife, and Crooks is of paramount importance to the analysis of Of Mice and Men. The ones on the ranch with someone to talk to are generally the happier people. The lonely men are always suspicious of others, and never form strong personal bonds. This need for a companion is accentuated by the Great Depression. With all the financial problems, it would have been comforting to have another person who sympathized. Friendship is one of the best parts of life; everybody should realize this and cherish their friends.

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