Of Mice And Men Essay

1007 words - 5 pages

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Tabitha Eager Ms. Kazlauskus FHE 5 17 December 2013 Isolation Longing and loneliness can be overwhelming even when surrounded by other people. In Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, he illustrates how the alienating actions of the migrant field workers cause the characters to become isolated and withdrawn, leading to desperation and extreme loneliness. Steinbeck’s story takes place in the depression era 1920s when racial discrimination and discrimination against the mentally challenged was more of a norm than an exception to the rule. Characters in this novel such as Crooks and George share the same longing and desire to not feel so alone and misunderstood. Each have been alienated ...view middle of the document...

. . an he gets sick” although he still feels the sense of desolation at his own actions (Steinbeck 72). Crooks explained that he reacted defensive to Lennie because he was changed and that change was due to the prolonged loneliness from he had endured. The loneliness was the sickness. Like any other sickness, it doesn’t matter who you are, sicknesses can infect any man and change them into something they are not.

In a similar way George is lonely because he is also guarded and defensive from the years of discrimination that he and Lennie have endured through their travels. George is Lennie’s caretaker, friend and simply put, George’s life is shared and completely dominated by his presence at all times. Steinbeck introduces Lennie as “a huge man, shapeless of face, with large, pale eyes, with wide, sloping shoulders; and he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws” thus, any reader could assume he would be dangerous and fierce (Steinbeck 2). People see a giant strong man, when Lennie actually is a soft kind man with a mind of child that George must constantly watch over. This is the very definition of discrimination. Seeing someone for something they simply are not due to their physical appearance. The field workers and Curly find that his simplicity and lack of understanding frustrates them and at times angers many of the characters. George has no problems with any of the field workers however, he feels an overwhelming loyalty to his friend to the extent of sacrificing all relationships other than the one he has with Lennie. It is in this way that the discrimination and misunderstanding towards Lennie transfers over to George because he always protects Lennie from his own wake of disasters. One night George is feeling particularly burdened and confessed to Slim, “course Lennie's a God damn nuisance most of the time, but you get used to goin' around with a guy an' you can't get rid of

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