The Theme Of Alienation In 'Of Mice And Men'

1410 Words 6 Pages
Of Isolation and Broken Dreams

Alienation has a lasting impact on the life of a human and can change the way one thinks, acts, and speaks. Authors convey loneliness through distinct commentary and dialogue that provide the reader with a greater understanding of the characters’ solitude. Many of the personalities on the ranch have been alone their entire life and have developed an overwhelming sense of solitude. They can no longer remember a time before their struggles. In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck demonstrates the motif of loneliness through Candy’s loss, Crooks’ isolation, and Curley’s wife’s femininity. Candy is the old swamper that suffers from feelings of isolation which are due to the fact that he has lived on the ranch
…show more content…
He was born with a crooked spine, which resulted in his nickname ‘Crooks’, a significant reason for his blatant discrimination besides his skin color (67). He has lived on a farm his entire life, on which he and his family were the only African Americans (70). He becomes uncomfortable and spiteful around white men as a result of their constant mockery about his physical appearance. When Lennie comes into Crooks’ room and tries to have an amicable conversation with him, Crooks instantly says that the room solely belongs to him, and that Lennie has no right to enter. Crooks tells Lennie that the ranch hands do not want him [Crooks] in the bunkhouse because he is black, and that he does not want them in his room (68). Crooks’ attitude towards the ranch hands’ ill treatment of him illustrates that racial discrimination is common in Crooks’ life. Crooks becomes infuriated when Lennie mentions that George told him [Lennie] to stay out of trouble and Crooks starts to make fun of Lennie by saying, ‘“S’pose George don’t come back no more. S’pose he took a powder and just ain’t coming back”’ (71). Crooks’ bitterness toward George and Lennie’s relationship, which he secretly wishes he could obtain, becomes apparent. He later reveals that he was talking about himself and his encounters with seclusion. He tells Lennie, ‘“S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play …show more content…
Candy, who loses his one companion and his dream, has experienced a sudden loneliness. He is forever encapsulated in his nightmare of seclusion. Steinbeck incorporates Candy to show the overall effects of living ones worst nightmare. Crooks has been alone all his life and has now become too bitter to recover. He will forever be alienated by his peers, and mocked for his race. Steinbeck includes Crooks to show the normality of racism in the 1930s, and how it can destroy one’s life. Curley’s wife became lonely after her marriage with Curley. She will never be able to live her dream as an actress and therefore suffers because of it. Steinbeck discusses Curley’s wife’s broken dreams to show that women always leave others lonely and disappointed. All three of these characters have lost their hopes and aspirations. They have nothing left to live for and no one left to pull them, out of their depression. Steinbeck portrays these characters as loneliness to overall deepen the readers perception of how loneliness is received and perceived. He portrays that life is not always what it seems, and that loneliness is

Related Documents