Themes In "Of Mice And Men".

885 words - 4 pages

There are several themes throughout the novel, "Of Mice and Men," but one of the main themes, is the theme of loneliness. The first line read "A few miles south of Soledad". This is quite a clever little idea by Steinbeck, since in Spanish "Soledad" means loneliness. The title "Of Mice and Men" also shows something about loneliness since the title actually came from a poem written by Robbie Burns's. The poem was called, "To a Mouse," and the point to the poem was that no matter how well the future may be planned, things often go wrong. Many people in the book are shown to be lonely, such as the two main characters, Curly's wife, and the one they call Whit. Loneliness plays a major part in this novel and that could explain why these people act the way they do.The physical setting of Steinbeck's novel is very important because the date when the novel took place was in 1929, around the time that the stock market had crashed, which in turn made the dollar becoming just about worthless. George and Lennie were always wandering around from place to place looking for work and a way to earn an honest buck. Since unemployment was high at the time, men had to move around a lot looking for work, which meant they were never in one place long enough to form any real relationships with others, which pretty much meant that they were going to have a lonely stay without many true friends. Hence, they would have been quite lonely when they didn't have any friends.Steinbeck also represents loneliness through the description of characters. He uses sexism and racism to get his message across. One example of this is when George meets the old, decaying Candy and his old dog, he tells him about the "colored" man called Crooks. Candy stated to George "give the Stable Buck hell. Ya see the stable buck's a nigger". Since they all thought Crooks was inferior, nobody would go out of their way to be his friend, which means he was friendless and therefore quite lonely. He has his "own bunk in a separate nigger room" and "he scattered personal possessions around the floor; for being alone he could leave things about". Crooks is obviously suffering from racial discrimination, as he is the only black man on the ranch and is not allowed in the bunkroom with the other men because of his color. He therefore, had a very lonely existence while living and working on the ranch.Steinbeck also uses Candy to portray...

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