Published in 1937, John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men revealed the sense of profound loneliness that some 1930’s temporary ranch workers experienced. The characters’ sense of loneliness, brought about the characters isolation from others around them. Many of Steinbeck’s characters depict loneliness and hide the fact they are lonely from those around them. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, many Americans felt a sense of hopelessness, both personally and economically, due to the Stock Market crash in October of 1929. Many farmers lost income and faced another tragedy when, in 1935, the Midwest was turned into the Dust Bowl. When a severe drought hit the Midwest, strong winds blew the top soil away, leaving the ground severely damaged. Of
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Crooks kept himself immersed in reading literature such as a dictionary and the California Civil Code, to distract him from feeling lonely. When Lennie accidentally stumbled across Crooks’ room in the barn, Crooks is very hostile and refuses his friendly advances. Crooks said to Lennie, “You got no right to come in my room. This here’s my room. Nobody got any right in here but me” (Steinbeck 68). Crooks sharply told Lennie that this was his room and he wasn’t welcome there. Crooks instant reaction to Lennie’s friendliness was hostility because he wasn’t used to having people talk to him. As Lennie began talking about George and his American Dream, Crooks suddenly became drawn into the idealized dream but remains realistic and skeptical. Crooks says “Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head” (Steinbeck 74). Crooks knew every migrant worker dreamt of owning land one day, but even the best laid plans always went astray. Because of Crook’s experiences, he has no dream of the future but realizes that he is trapped in a lonely existence.
Curley’s wife is another lonely character, living on the ranch, as she is the only woman on the farm and feels excluded from everything and everybody due to her abusive husband. To counter her loneliness, she constantly goes to see the ranch workers with the