In the novel Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck a couple of the characters start to show some form of loneliness. The characters Crooks, Curley’s wife and Candy all admit to being lonely.
Through this novel Steinbeck shows the readers that a victim of loneliness will have a search for friendship never endlessly.Crooks, the only black character on the ranch is isolated and lonely due to the fact that he is a black man in the 1930’s at a time in America where discrimination against coloured people was prominent and when segregation was present. “Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black…” (pg 68) He has been alone for so long with only books to keep him company.”There wasn’t another coloured family for miles around. And now there ain’t a coloured man on this ranch…”( pg 70) Crooks was seen as the lowest-class and he was forced to do the worst hardest job on the ranch. Overall Crooks has the most extreme case of isolation and loneliness because he is treated terribly and has little to no contact with anybody. Crooks spends most of his time in his barn reading and isolated from the other men because of the way he is treated, this ends up causing him to have an emotional downfall.
Crooks isn’t the only lonely character, Curley’s wife is also lonely. Curley’s wife is the only woman on the ranch, she has no one to talk to. She constantly tries to talk to some of the workers like Lennie. “..
. Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in the house alla time?” ( pg 77) However, the rest of the men on the ranch don’t speak to her because they are afraid of her husband, Curley. Curley forbidden the rest of the men to speaking to his wife, this shows the readers that Curley is pretty insecure.
Curley’s wife constantly talks about being lonely despite being married and having a relationship with Curley. Curley constantly speaks about his wife calling her derogatory names in front of the men. Curley has no respect for his marriage and wife, that is one of the reasons that led Curley’s wife to being lonely, she felt powerless and lonely ” Why can’t I talk to you?, I never get to talk to nobody, I get awful lonely.” (pg 86)Another lonely character is Candy. Candy is an older ranch worker who is disabled due to an accident he had in the past at the ranch. Candy’s only companionship is with his dog, until Carlson shoots it for Candy because the men at the ranch believe the dog is useless, just like Candy. Workers on the ranch were expected to be productive and if no one was no longer met that expectation due to being old, useless or no ability to perform certain tasks they’d be fired. Candy searches for new friendships, he then overhears George and Lennie speaking about their dream farm, he asks to join in and offers his savings.
“S’pose I went in the with you guys. That’s three hundred and fifty bucks I’d put in… How’d that be?’ (pg 59) Candy knows that soon he will not be wanted at the ranch because of his age and disability. He will end up with no place or friends to turn to. He recognizes that the same that happened to his dog will happen to him. He then becomes desperate that he is sacrificing his savings into a farm, that he could spend the rest of his life peacefully and comfortably. In conclusion, Steinbeck uses this novel to show readers isolation and loneliness can affect a person.
Crooks realises books is no replacement for human companionship. Friends are important because they help give us a meaning to life, otherwise we can be so desperate for an ear and attention just like Curley’s wife. The simple moral of the story is that in order to survive everyone needs someone to talk to, Crooks, says he feels sick because he has no one to talk to. Curley’s wife died because she was very lonely and was desperate for an ear and it didn’t end well for her. And Candy will most likely go in the same direction as his dog.
Everyone regardless of race, sex or age need companionship to keep themselves from loneliness and suffering.