Theme Of Alienation In Of Mice And Men

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Brooklynn Burchett Many characters in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men are alienated from the rest of the people on the ranch. Two of the most prominent, are Crooks and Curley's wife, who experience extreme loneliness throughout the novel due to their separation from the group. They are alienated from the rest because they are in drastically different situations from everyone else. Steinbeck uses them to comment on society. Society tends to shun individuals that are in different situations from the crowd, and those individuals feel isolated from everyone else Steinbeck dwells on the theme of loneliness throughout the story, as most characters feel lonely in some way. The most obviously lonely characters are Curley's wife and Crooks. Curley's …show more content…
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. The ranchers actively shunned him and Crooks is left alone. There are others that are separated from the group, but no one as much as Crooks and Curley's wife. They are treated the most different out of everyone else. All of the boys avoid Curley's wife so as to not get into trouble. It was one of the first things George said to Lennie after meeting Curley's wife, “‘Don’t you ever take a look at that bitch… You leave her be.” (Steinbeck 32). She can cause trouble for anyone who looks at her the wrong way, so George outright tells Lennie to avoid her. Crooks is treated very different. The boss is physically abusive towards him, and only him. In addition, he doesn’t get to talk to the other boys often, leaving him feeling isolated. He also sleeps in a completely different place, not even in the bunkhouse with the …show more content…
They say I stink.” (Steinbeck 68) Crooks is extremely isolated from everyone else, and he deals with his isolation by reading. He dives into other lives rather than dwell on his situation. But he doesn’t seem satisfied with his solution, as he tells Lennie, “‘Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody-to be near him.” (Steinbeck 72). While reading may be a temporary solution, it can’t fix the way Crooks is treated. Curley's wife deals with her alienation with a completely different approach. She craves attention, good or bad. So she flaunts herself around the other guys. As soon as she sees George and Lennie she displays herself to them, “She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward.” (Steinbeck 31). Curley's wife makes the decision that she would rather be known as a tramp rather than a nobody. She would rather get negative attention from everyone else than no attention at all. She is lacking in attention because Curley doesn’t pay attention to her, and he is her husband. But Curley has become possessive of her, and doesn’t want her talking to

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