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Loneliness In Of Mice And Men

1230 words - 5 pages

Loneliness In Of Mice And Men

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men: Loneliness
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Loneliness is a state of being alone in sadness, resulting from being
isolated or abandoned. As I understand it, loneliness is when a person
has no one to talk to, no one to confide in, nor anyone to keep
companionship with. Loneliness also makes a person slip into a
desolate state, which they try to conceal under a tough image, and is
an emotion even the strongest cannot avoid. In his novel, Of Mice and
Men, John Steinbeck deals with loneliness by looking for comfort in a
friend, but settling for the attentive ear of a stranger. Although
they seem at ease and friendly on the surface, a deep sense of
loneliness lingers in the hearts of Crooks, George, and Curley's wife,
to which they are desperate to find an escape from to cope with their
seclusion from the rest of society.

Crooks, a lively, sharp-witted, black stablehand, who takes his name
from his crooked back, leads a lonely life. He lives according to the
rule that no black man is allowed to enter a white man's home. Crooks’
loneliness is a result of rejection from everyone else on the ranch.
He is forced to live alone in a barn, where he lives his life in
isolation because of his colour, which was an issue in those days.
When Lennie visits him in the room, Crooks' reactions reveal the fact
that he is lonely. As a black man with a physical handicap, Crooks is
forced to live on the border of ranch life. He is not even allowed to
enter the white men's bunkhouse, or join them in a game of cards. His
resentment typically comes out through his bitter, sad, and touching
vulnerability, as he tells Lennie: “…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 a guy gets too lonely
an' he gets sick”.

Crooks' openness of his inner self, and his ability to speak his
heart's desire to a stranger illustrates how lonely he gets, and
admits that it results in sickness. Furthermore, as bitter as he is
about his exclusion from other men, Crooks is grateful for Lennie's
company, and when Candy enters Crook's room, it becomes difficult for
him to conceal his pleasure with anger. The only relationship he can
find is with his books. When Lennie talks about his dream farm, Crooks
hesitantly asks Lennie an alternative for him to escape his
loneliness, "If you…guys would want a hand to work for nothing, just
his keep, why I'd come an' lend a hand". Crooks' desperation to get
out of his lonely spell prompts him to make such a drastic, but shy,
suggestion. Crooks becomes so desperate for a relationship that he
offers his services to George and Lennie for free, just to escape his
loneliness. Crooks is not successful in overcoming his loneliness
because Lennie dies in a matter of days, and no white man in his right
mind would care to step foot in Crooks'...

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