Theme Of Loneliness In Of Mice And Men

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The Lingering Loneliness
“I seen the guys that go around on the ranches alone. That ain’t no good. They don’t have no fun. After a long time they get mean. They want to fight all the time.”(Steinbek 41). Loneliness, isolation, and dissociation are as beneficial to human life as poison. In the 1930’s men wander the west with only the whisper of the trees as companions; the elderly are forgotten; women are treated as inferiors; and African Americans are treated like animals. During this time people were dehumanized because of their skin color, gender, or age. In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men three unlikely individuals reveal to readers the relevance of isolation in society. Notably the powerful theme of loneliness revealed in the novella
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Because Crooks is african american he is considered “dirty” and unwanted by the other workers on the ranch. Crooks helps reveal the theme of loneliness because he feel isolated due to the fact he is treated like an animal, kept separate from the other workers on the ranch, and is the only black employee on the ranch. The first reason crooks is lonely and isolated is because the workers and owners of the ranch treat him as if he was an animal: “I ain’t wanted in the bunkhouse, and you ain’t wanted in my room”(68). The horse stables is where crooks calls home. Being forced to live with animals is stripping his dignity Laura Hillenbrand says “Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen.” By forcing crooks to live in a stable they are portraying him as worthless and less of a human than the other workers on the ranch. When talking with Lennie about the discrimination on the ranch, Crooks says “...they say I stink”(68). Stench is a prominent attribute of an animal, when the men make those remarks at Crooks they are once again portraying him as an animal. Crooks is obviously an intellectual but he is treated as an inferior by the ranch hands: “ And he had books too; a tattered dictionary and a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905. There were battered magazines and a few dirty books on a special shelf over his bunk” (67). Because of the longevity of Crooks stay on the ranch he had gathered many belongings. Crooks was treated as an animal and dehumanized but by reading books and becoming more intelligent than most men on the ranch he resisted the dehumanization. The second reason Crooks feels isolated is because he, unlike all the other on the ranch is forced to live his life separately than all the other workers on the ranch. Crooks is housed in a barn and denied access to the lives of the other migrant

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