The Theme Of Alienation In 'Of Mice And Men'

Superior Essays
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

  • Improved Essays

    Curley being the mean man he is has put her down so many times that now she believes she 's worth nothing more. Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife as a way to show what years and loneliness can lead to. It can lead to pain, a love-less life, and most of all, searching for happiness and attention wherever a person can find it. Of Mice and Men was clearly centralized around the idea of loneliness most clearly shown through the use of Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife. In a book about the Great Depression, many people were not happy and Steinbeck capitalized on the fact that many felt hopeless and lonely.…

    • 1046 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Because of this, she flaunts herself around the other guys. The other ranch hands don’t want to get into trouble with Curly, as he is the boss’ son and could get them fired, so they ignore Curley's wife. She is alienated because of her unique situation, different from others at the ranch. Crooks is also alienated, but for different reasons. Crooks is black, and people in the 1930’s were racist.…

    • 766 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    John Steinbeck Loneliness

    • 1262 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Throughout the book, Steinbeck portrayed emotional settings that captured the prejudice acts for Crooks and Curley’s wife. Hope is a word that will never come upon the two characters because they were left alone for being a girl, a different race, and they tried to find ways to end their loneliness but failed. Crooks realized he could no longer live a happy life because of the racial discrimination. Curley’s wife was a tramp looking for attention, but in the end, we can see that she was unhappy about her life. When she tells Lennie about her dreams, it shows us how loneliness can easily destroy her.…

    • 1262 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ever’body knowed you’d mess things up. You wasn’t no good. You ain’t no good now, you lousy tart” (Steinbeck 96). Curley’s Wife is so lonely that she wants to talk to Lennie, who is mentally handicapped, because he is the only one who will listen to her. While doing this, she causes so much trouble that people don’t feel sorry for her when she dies.…

    • 800 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Long as you won’t get out and leave me alone, you might as well set down. His tone was a little more friendly (Steinbeck, 68-69). Crooks feels isolated and experiences loneliness, due to the racism present at the ranch. He feels bitter that he is isolated because of this and just wants someone to talk to. It becomes evident how lonely Crooks is after he invites Lennie in even after making a big deal that white men are not allowed in his room.…

    • 1509 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    George doesn’t like George socialising as in page 17, I quote” Sure’ said Lennie, ‘I can’t remember this d’nt I remember about not gonna say a word?’…’well look Lennie ‘if you jus’ happen to get in trouble like you always done before”. Not socialising is one thing but he being unaware of his strength has been a good and bad thing. One example is when he was being threatened by Curley and he defended himself with the permission form George. ‘George ran down the room” Leggo of him”, Lennie let go’…’”You tol’ me to George” he said miserably… “I didn’t wanta”, Lennie cried,” I didn’t wanta hurt…

    • 1284 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    After further threats, Curley’s wife warns Crooks to “keep your place then n*****... Nobody’d listen to you and you know it” (81). In this argument, we view a short summary of Crooks’ life, where Crooks is being presented with a threat that could jail or kill him because of the color of his skin. However, he cannot do anything about it since no one would believe him over Curley’s wife because, as a black man, he holds a lower place in society. Due to this life of discrimination and outcast from the normal level of society, Crooks find himself pushing people away out of fear that his skin color could be a target of hate and violence. When Lennie enters his room, Crooks scolds “You go on an’ get outta my room… you ain't wanted in my room” (68).…

    • 1640 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When Lennie comes into Crooks’s room, Crooks says, “You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me” (Steinbeck 68) because he doesn’t think that anyone wants to talk to him except for Slim. He thinks that just because his race nobody respects him. Crooks is being cruel to Lennie by saying, “S’pose George don’t come back no more.…

    • 583 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While they are making the fight fair, they are implying that Crooks is weak and needs help to survive. On top of all of this, Crooks is forced to live in the barn. “I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse...they say I stink” (68). Because Crooks is black, he is told he stinks, and forced to live with the animals. Crooks is lonely because he is treated differently than the other men.…

    • 1063 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Loneliness In Mice And Men

    • 1480 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Curley’s wife is a young and beautiful woman who has a dream to become an actress in Hollywood. But after she left her home, to live with Curley, her life started to go downhill because discrimination against women suppresses many of her rights as a human. Although she faces discrimination, the biggest problem she has by living on the ranch is loneliness because to her, having a lifestyle full of loneliness is unbearable. As shown in the following quote, Curley’s wife is plainly sick of being alone in the house of the ranch. “Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while?…

    • 1480 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays