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Loneliness and Solitude in Of Mice and Men

            Loneliness and solitude are recurring themes in 'Of Mice and Men'. This essay will be focused on how these themes relate to the characters George, Crooks and Candy. The book is very heavily focussed on these issues and John Steinbeck has this by naming the town itself Soledad, which in Spanish means loneliness. All of the characters in the novel have an ongoing battle with loneliness and they each have their own way of combatting it. .
             George has an ongoing struggle with loneliness throughout the novel. He is unable to establish relationships with people due to his father-like role looking after his disabled friend Lennie. He is lonely because he does not allow himself to form emotional attachments to people because he is constantly on the move every time Lennie makes a mistake. Although George thinks Lennie is holding him back in life, he clearly values Lennie's companionship as supported by this interaction: "I can go off into the hills and find a cave" "No I want you to stay with me." (page 14) George chooses solitude when on the ranch. He keeps to himself and only forces others to make an effort in forming a relationship with him. During his downtime George is usually playing solitaire, this is one of the ways Steinbeck shows that George does not wish to form relationships with people. George has the dream that all men of the time share, of owning his own land. This is another way George seeks solitude, he wishes to be on his own and totally independent. George does not require many friends in life though he does value companionship. .
             Crooks is lonely, despite what he wants others to believe he does not want to be an outcast and resents the rest of society for the way he is treated. Crooks is the only black man on the ranch and therefore forced to live on his own, away from the other men higher on the social scale. Crooks does open up about his loneliness when talking to Lennie and Curley's wife and he says a string of key quotes such as "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody.

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