Of Mice and Men
In order to maintain sanity, people need other people, most importantly friends. Without friends, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude. Loneliness can make people depressed. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, the characters, Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife all show some form of loneliness. Since they themselves do not have anyone, they will look towards George and Lennie's friendship to fill the void they have. Throughout the book, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck demonstrates that often times a person will try to cling to others, so that they may fill the void of loneliness and become sane again.
"A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't matter no difference who the guy is, longs he with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an he gets sick" (pg 13). This is a prime example showing how Crooks, the black stable buck, is talking to Lennie, and tries to tell Lennie that he needs someone to talk to.
Crooks experiences this isolation because the society in which he resides is racist, and as a result, Crooks tries to find the connection between Lennie and George that he doesn't have himself. The other workers on the farm will not socialize with Crooks unless they were playing horseshoes in the evening. Otherwise Crooks would occupy his time alone, reading books. Humans are social beings who need some kind of connection with others to function properly. Crooks is rejected from every group of people and cannot socially interact with others. Therefore Crooks starts to develop a belief that his loneliness is a defect in himself. He seems to avoid all the others on the ranch unless they play horseshoes. He is afraid of being alone, and yet he is antisocial. Although Crooks is discriminated upon Lennie forces Crooks to be friends with him. Crooks treats others the same way they treat him. Since the others lash out at Crooks he does the same back that's the reason it is hard for him to make friends. Crooks gets fascinated upon Lennie and George's friendship so he asks about it. Crooks said, "Well, s'pose, jus' s'pose he don't come back. What'll you do then?" (79) Since Crooks has never had any friends he asked what would happen if Lennie and George split up. He wants others to feel the way he does when he has nobody.
Candy has worked on the ranch his whole life, he got into an accident that cost him his hand, leaving him money and loneliness. As a result of Candy's age and disability he has a feeling of uselessness. Because of that he thinks too little of himself, which is more of an injury than his physical handicap will ever be. He looks down on himself as an old worthless man wasting away his last few years. He is afraid of losing his work, which at this time is his whole life. Because Candy feels so bad he says, "I got hurt four years ago. They'll can me purty soon. Jus' as soon as I can't swamp out no bunk houses they'll put me on the county" which is why he feels out of place and lonely (66). He tries to become friends with George and Lennie so that he too could chase their dream and not feel abandoned. Candy offered his services and all his money to become a part of George and Lennie's friendship and dream. Candy said, "I'll wash dishes an' little chick stuff like that. But I'll be on your own place, an' I'll be let to work on our own place." so that he could feel part of something and belong (66). After Candy lost his dog he felt more abandoned than before, because he lost his only true friend.
Curley's wife teases everyone on the ranch so she can get attention that Curley doesn't let her have. She dresses in a way that she can get the attention of the others and mend her loneliness. In doing so, she gives herself a sense of relief making her feel wanted, so she can tell her problems to others. Because of her reputation for being a flirt, none of the farmhands wants to talk to her, so no matter how hard she tries, she can never fit in. Many of the character don't want to have anything to do with her "Maybe you better go along to you own house now. We don't want no trouble" (85). When Curley's wife notices that Lennie is simple-minded, she takes advantage of him. Curley's wife figures that Lennie is the only person she can talk to without him telling her she needs to go away. She did not know that Lennie had a fascination for soft things. When she was done explaining her problems to someone who didn't even care, she asked him to stroke her hair. But when she began to yell at Lennie, he just pulled her hair tighter, like he did to the dress of the girl in Weed. Lennie snaps her neck relieving her of her loneliness. This could be looked at as a good thing, because it ended the most severe loneliness in the book. She tried to consult with everyone she could about her problem, but when she finally got some attention, it killed her.
Loneliness is a state of feeling when someone is set apart from others. Within the book, Of Mice and Men, the characters suffer from different reasons of loneliness; whether it is from race, rejection, or gender. They try to relive themselves of this loneliness by trying to insert themselves in Lennie and George's friendship. Some are jealous of the friendship Lennie and George share. Many times someone with loneliness will live their life trying to find that friendship which they do not have.