, Research Paper
Loneliness is a basic part of human life. In his novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck illustrates the loneliness of California ranch life in the early 1930’s and shows how people are driven to find friendship.
George and Lennie would truly be lonely if they did not have each other. They consider each other family, even though they are so different. To George, Lennie is like a pet or a little brother, because George turns to him for friendship and someone to talk to. George’s frequently shares his philosophy about guys that work on ranches. “Guys like us, that live on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world.” He means that if not for each other, then they would be all alone, with no friends.
Curly’s wife is lonely because of someone else, Curly. Everybody is afraid to talk to her because Curly is extremely jealous and would start a fight. She is always flirting with the workers, because she does not like Curly and is looking for companionship. She even talks to Crooks, Candy and Lennie in the barn, when nobody else would. Then, when she spots Lennie in the barn alone, she tries to get him to listen to her, even when he does not want to talk. She is obviously very desperate if she wants to talk to someone as dumb as Lennie.
Candy also has his one friend in the world, his dog, whom he can not even talk to him. However, when his dog dies, he has to look elsewhere for friendship. He hopes that these friends can be George and Lennie. He asks George if he can join them in their quest to own a piece of land and live off it. Candy also needs to share his thoughts with them. Candy is obviously lonely, because people then did not travel together, and those that did grew up together.
The absence of character names in the novel shows how people do not care about others, leading to loneliness. Even though Curly’s wife is mentioned frequently, nobody asks what her name is. Nobody wants to talk her because people are afraid of Curly. Also, the boss’ name is never mentioned, further proving the point. Because people do not get to know each other, they end up not having many friends.
Crooks is isolated by his skin color. This makes him the loneliest of all. Because of his skin color, he cannot be around other people. Since nobody is ever talking to him, he must turn to his books to not become lonely. Books soon become boring, and he is lonely again. He is eager for company, even though he does not show it. When Crooks was talking to Lennie, he comments on George and Lennie’s dream to own a farm. “An’ never a God damn one of ‘em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. It’s just in their head.”
Even if all people are miserable when they are lonely, the consequences of friendship can be even worse. When one of the members of a friendship is removed, there is much misery. When Candy lost his dog, he kept thinking about him. He felt he should have shot his dog himself. When George had to shoot Lennie, he felt terrible. He had just shot his best friend, his only friend in the world. Because of this, he has to live the rest of his life alone and knowing that he killed his only friend.
All people are driven for friendship and companionship. When they find it, they are the happiest people, because everyone else is alone and sad. Lonely people are very miserable and always looking for someone to talk with them. The only downside to finding a friend is what happens when one of the friends is lost. This causes even more misery in the remaining friend, and forces the friend to start searching again. Friendship is a very valuable thing to a person, as it keeps us away from loneliness.