The Role Of Loneliness In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The Great Depression was a time of despair and lost hope, especially for migrant ranch workers in then-desolate places like California’s Central Valley. The stock market crash, combined with the succeeding Dust Bowl, had prompted many desperate civilians to travel west in search of new opportunities and lives. Through John Steinbeck’s Depression-era portrayal of the relationships between migrant ranch workers Lennie and George as well as the others they interact with in his novel Of Mice and Men, he illustrates the importance of companionship and the trouble loneliness can bring, a concept that can be applied to this day. Companionship holds Lennie and George together amidst a world of economic hardship. Their special relationship is exemplified when Lennie, who threatens to leave George after an argument, tells him, “If you don’t want me…I’ll go off into those hills right…show more content…
As the end of the book nears, Curley’s wife, while conversing with Lennie, reveals why she may act like a “tart” (40), telling Lennie, “Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody” (86). Curely’s wife tells Lennie that she “coulda been in the movies” and instead had to marry Curely, who tells her to speak only to him and to no other men on the ranch (87, 89). Then, Curely’s wife, who does not anticipate Lennie’s brute force, lets Lennie stroke her hair, as she is eager for attention. Lennie, soon overcome with fear and panic from Curely’s wife’s terrified screams, kills Curley’s wife by breaking her neck (91). Trouble has come as a result of Curley’s wife, just as George had predicted when he warned, “I seen ‘em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her [Curley’s wife]” (32). As a result of this unfortunate event, George’s original plans that Lennie and Candy also shared are

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