Of Mice And Men Loneliness Theme Analysis

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In the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Steinbeck develops the theme that inequality leads to loneliness. Crooks faces a relentless form of inequality in the form of racism as he is separated into his own isolated room, kept from playing games with the other men, and threatened to be killed all because of his skin color which leads to his ongoing loneliness. Lennie enters his room one night when the rest of the men are out: “Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt to make friends. Crooks said sharply, ‘You got no right to come in my room. This here 's my room. Nobody got any right in here but me’” (68) Crooks has been isolated into his own room his entire life on the ranch and because of the constant loneliness that comes with isolation, …show more content…
As she speaks to Lennie secretly in the barn, she admits her loneliness to him: “‘None of them guys is goin’ to leave that tenement. Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely’” (86) She confides in Lennie as he is someone who faces similar disadvantages and explains that she never gets to talk to anyone. This would be because they live on a ranch full of men and because of the way Curley controls her and treats her as his property, she is not allowed to speak to anyone. She tries to combat this ongoing isolation by flirting with men and some of the ranch hands, but this just gets her labeled as a ‘loot’ or a slut and makes the men even more distant from her. She emphasizes, “‘You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody’” (87) Curley’s wife feels this constant loneliness because she is kept away from interacting with any other men and since no other women live on the farm she has no one to talk to besides Curley. It’s also evident that Curley doesn’t regard her as a loving and caring wife, but rather as an object that he can control and push around. Because of this, she later explains she really doesn’t even like him all that much. She tells Lennie, “‘I don’ like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella. Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes--all them nice clothes like they wear” (89) With Curley’s control over her, she not only can’t talk to other men, but can’t even really talk to her own husband because of their broken relationship. The only reason Curley’s wife continues to stay with him has to do with the inequality in their relationship as he dictates what she does and because women in this time were oppressed and controlled by men.

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