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Of Men And Mice Is Loneliness Mans Greatest Enemy?

1343 words - 5 pages

Loneliness is a state of being alone in sadness, resulting from being forsaken 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. (Steinbeck 72-73)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'" (Steinbeck 76). 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' humble abode.George, a short-tempered but loving and devoted friend, is lost in loneliness. At the beginning of the novel, George...

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