Of Mice and Men Literary Analysis
Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, is a book that can be analyzed and broken down into a vast majority of themes. One of the predominant themes found in this book is loneliness. Many characters in this book are affected by loneliness and they all demonstrate it in one way or another throughout the book. Examples of these characters are Curleys Wife, Crooks, and Candy.
All through the book Curleys Wife is very open to everyone she meets. The reason for this can be interpreted by her and Curleys so-called marriage. The relationship between Curleys Wife and Curley seems to be somewhat unstable as he is always asking Any you guys seen my wife? (pg.). This also shows how protective Curley seems to be as he is always checking up on where his wife is. Curleys insecurity seems to cage in his wife from having any kind of a friendship with any other men. In turn, the wife gets so sick of being isolated like this and relieves her loneliness by conducting secret conversations with many other men on the ranch. As a result many of the ranch hands see her as a tramp but it can be viewed that all she really wants is a person to talk to.
Crooks also feels a great deal of loneliness, as he is an outcast on the ranch. He lives in his own room where hardly anybody ever bothers him. He is never invited to play cards or do anything fun with the other guys. One day a curious Lenny asked, Why aint you wanted? Crooks replies Cause Im black. They play cards in there, but I cant play because Im black. They think I stink. Well I tell you, you all stink to me (pg.). Crooks attitude towards this is shown when he saw Lennie playing with his puppy outside of Crooks quarters. Crooks states that if me, as a black man, is not allowed in the white quarters, then white men are not allowed in mine (pg.). However this is merely a front as the more open side of Crooks is shown later on in the book.
Candy also feels the burden of loneliness and shows it by his relationship with his sheep dog. The dog, being described as ancient, stinky, and half-blind, had been in Candys life for a very long time and Candy had grown attached to it. Once the other farmhands had finally gotten fed up with it and stated that the dog needed to be put out of its misery Candy was extremely reluctant to turn it over and let him go. After hearing the shot ring outside, all Candy could do was turn his face towards a wall and not look around. Certainly Candy found this dog to be a loyal companion of his and he had developed a strong relationship with it over the years, which helped him cope with his loneliness on the ranch.
Whenever one is taking a deeper look at Of Mice and Men one will probably get a sense of how depressing and dismal the ranch really is. These are just a few examples of how different characters dealt with their loneliness. However effective or ineffective their remedies were, one still must feel a certain amount of sympathy towards them.
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