In Steinbeck's classic, "Of Mice and Men", the main theme is loneliness. In this essay I intend to study the theme of loneliness, by examining various characters.
The story is set near the small town of Soledad, California. The two main characters, George Milton and Lennie Small travel around together (they are best friends), with Lennie usually getting himself and George into trouble. They end up working on a small ranch, bucking barley. The boss" son, Curly has a beautiful wife and she tends to get lonely a lot, so she talks to the workers. She ends up talking to Lennie, and when she realises he has killed a puppy, she screams. With Lennie not knowing how strong he actually is, tries to stop her from screaming and ends up breaking her neck, killing her also. The story ends with George "putting Lennie out of his misery" and kills him.
Lennie Small, who can be referred to as the gentle giant of the novel, isn't a lonely man. He has always relied on his best friend of many years, George, to keep him company. Lennie is very slow, tending to forget things very easily. The one thing we realise in the novel is that he never ever forgets about the dream ranch George had promised they would end up having. We do not see any development or change in Lennie whatsoever; he is throughout the novel exactly what he was like when we encounter him in the opening stages. He has a strange obsession for small, furry animals and loves to pet them, although his overwhelming strength proves to be too much for the poor animals he gets his hands on.
George Milton is smaller than Lennie, but obviously has a bigger brain than him. He has taken Lennie under his wing for as long as he can remember, leading him in and out of jobs, feeding him- the lot. He would like to save up a decent stake and buy a small ranch, selling crops, etc. George and Lennie are the only characters in the story who AREN"T lonely, as they have each other.