Topics in “Of Mice and Men”: Friendship and Loneliness
The Significance of Friendship in Of Mice and Men
Is friendship important to people? Friends are important because they help us deal with stress and make better lifestyle choices that keep us strong; you can also share your personal things with them. Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck is a story about friendship. It took place during the Great Depression. Most of the story was in Soledad, California. There are two main characters, Lennie and George, and they used to work on a farm. Lennie used to buck barley, and George was to help him and do other work. There were other characters, such as Candy (also known as Swamper). He was an old ranch worker who had lost one of his hands during an accident. Curley was the son of the ranch boss. He used to be a fighter. Crook was a colored man, and he was also lonely. Many people didn’t like him because he was colored. Curley’s wife used to flirt with people.
George and Lennie’s Solid Friendship Amid Loneliness
The themes of friendship and loneliness are important to the story Of Mice and Men. The two main characters, George and Lennie, have a great friendship that keeps them from being lonely, unlike the other guys on the ranch. Aunt Clara took Lennie when he was a baby and raised him up. When she died, Lennie came to George. They both got used to each other after a while. George was like a parent to Lennie. He always helped him. For example, when Lennie touched the girl’s dress in Weed, Lennie would have gone to jail, but George helped him escape. Lennie always used to follow what George would tell him to.
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For example, George said that whenever you get in trouble, you have to go and hide in the bushes. If George tells him to walk over a cliff, he will go. They both got each other to take care of. They both have a dream to get a house and be their own boss. Lennie and George were talking by the river about their future house. George says, “O.K. Someday-we’re gonna get the jack together, and we’re gonna have a little house and a couple of acres and a cow and some pigs and-” (14). This won’t make them feel alone because they will both be together. There were many people on the ranch who didn’t have anybody to talk to, but George and Lennie were always together, and they always talked to each other. Sometimes, George complains about taking care of him. George would immediately know that Lennie is doing something bad.
Loneliness as a Common Thread
Candy and Crook are two characters on the farm who are lonely; they don’t have anybody close to them. Candy didn’t have anyone because he was old. He had a dog who was like his friend, but the dog was too old, so Carlson killed him. After that, he didn’t have anybody to talk to. Crooks was lonely because he was the only colored man on a ranch. Also, other people on the ranch play cards, but Crooks don’t. They also say that he stinks. He can’t take part in those things just because of his color. Lennie and Crooks were talking in the Crooks room about how lonely he is. Crooks says, “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long he’s with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.” Crook never used to talk to people because some people used to make fun of him, and after Candy’s dog died, he felt too lonely. He lost his hand, so now they pay him two hundred and fifty dollars. Instead of the normal pay.
The Struggles of Curley’s Wife
Curley’s wife is another lonely character, even though she has a husband. She flirts with other guys to get rid of her loneliness. She’s also the only woman on the ranch. She’s lonely because Curley doesn’t give her enough time. Her loneliness affects other people because whenever she used to flirt with people, that person was always in trouble. Curley’s wife was talking to Candy, Lennie, and Crooks in Crooks’s room about how lonely she is and how her husband ignores her. Curley’s wife says, “Well, I ain’t giving you no trouble. Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?” She also got an offer from a movie, but she married Curley. Whenever she used to go to talk to guys, they thought that she was flirting with them.
In conclusion, George and Lennie were best friends. They both had each other to talk to, but the other guys didn’t have anybody to talk to. Others are lonely. Crooks was lonely because he was black. Curley’s wife was lonely because her husband didn’t give her enough time. Candy was lonely because he was old. The author is trying to tell how friendship affects you and how you always have someone to talk to. Later in the book, the characters’ loneliness will continue because George won’t have anyone to talk to either because Lennie is dead in the end. Candy might have George as a friend. Still, Curley’s wife won’t have anyone to talk to either because no one likes to talk to her. Crooks was black and might not have anyone because other guys used to make fun of him.
- Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Penguin Books, 1993.