Theme Of Alienation In Of Mice And Men

Good Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    In John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, loneliness hinders in many of the characters such as Curley’s wife, Candy and Crooks. The first character that loneliness haunts is Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife is a woman who is a tramp. She is very rude and has the “eye” for other men. Curley never talks to his wife in addition she feels lonely.…

    • 731 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The men think that they should not be around the only woman in the area that already has a husband. They know what will happen to them if Curley thinks they are flirting with his wife. In addition, Candy argues that a women with a husband should not be hanging around men especially when it can cause “trouble” (85). This shows that the men are uncomfortable around Curley's wife which results in them isolating themselves from her. After George and Lennie see Curley's wife for the first time, George tells Lennie to stay away from her because he thinks she will end up causing harm to them.…

    • 813 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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.…

    • 1205 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Many of the characters in Of Mice and Men portray the character trait of loneliness, which ultimately causes their downfall. Curley’s wife is someone who tries everything she can to find a companion to talk to, but she is unsuccessful. Crooks is alone in the fact that he is the only one of his race living on the farm. Although it may not be obvious, George and Lennie display the theme of loneliness the most because they have no one that understands their situation. The theme of loneliness is universal; many have suffered from its…

    • 1063 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She usually gets out and tries to communicate with the workers, but they suspect something more than just wanting to talk. Her flirty behavior makes her seem needy and unsatisfied, so the men look away and tell her off. Though she is married, her husband is always losing her in the ranch, so she makes do with the people around her, only if they do talk to her, then her husband gets angry and demands it to stop. She complained "Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?"…

    • 1046 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Steinbeck reinforces this dislike towards Curley as Curley’s wife is jealous of Lennie because he can “‘talk to people, but [she] can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad’” (Steinbeck 87). Steinbeck relates how Curley’s wife’s ethical choices are impacted by the actions of others in the way Curley disregards his wife, leaving her with the desire to find…

    • 986 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He pushes people away because he thinks that they don’t care since he is black, but isolating himself causes a lot of loneliness. Discrimination affects Crooks because what he says doesn’t matter to people and he isn’t included in activities which makes him feel very…

    • 1202 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Loneliness can oftentimes be associated with being alone, but the difference is, loneliness can ultimately alter one’s own self and could cause one to pay a hefty price. Being alone is the physical state in which one is by themselves and no one is physically around them, while loneliness is the emotional state in which one may have had people around and in their life, yet they felt like they are alone and had no one. Throughout the novel, Of Mice and Men, Curley’s wife felt the emotional state of loneliness while she lived on the farm due to the rules and regulations her husband had put on the farm and the men who lived on it. Although there was people on the farm who surrounded her, she still felt like she was alone and had no one who loved…

    • 1542 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Curley’s wife only wants to talk to Lennie, but he is more afraid of George getting upset with him. Curley’s wife gets upset because she wants to have a friend to talk to: “ Ain’t I gotta a right to talk to nobody? Whatta they think I am, anyways?” (87). Even when she is in danger, Curley’s wife is so desperate for attention that she ignores all of the obvious clues: “Then all of Lennie's woe came back on him. "Jus' my pup," he said sadly.…

    • 1299 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He lives all by himself with very little human contact and he does not like it at all. Overall, Crooks is affected by being separated from the other men on the ranch by him being locked away in his own room and by him feeling like…

    • 1151 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays