Discuss the Theme of Loneliness in 'of Mice and Men'

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Throughout the novella ‘of Mice and Men’ John Steinbeck seeks to explore the key themes of loneliness and isolation which plagued the population of 1930s America. Following the Wall Street crash of 1929 many of the working classes were plunged into a world of poverty and hardship where each day was a fight against the swelling tide of adversity.
George and Lennie are employed by Steinbeck to convey to the reader the nature of man’s struggle against loneliness and its futility. The pair are very different from the other characters in the book in that they are not lonely, as they will often say “I got you an you got me”. They often use this friendship to validate their existence and comfort themselves, George is proud that he “got somebody to talk to that gives a damn” as this is a rarity and an achievement for an itinerant worker. George also expresses his fear of loneliness when he states “I seen guys that go around ranches alone. That ain’t no good”, because his bond with Lennie is all he has he fights to protect it despite the trouble it causes him. Lennie is fiercely protective of George because their companionship is one of the few things that he understands and is sure of, when others try to test this he maintains “George wouldn’t do nothing like that!”. The two men desperately cling to each other as loneliness encroaches from all sides and threatens to tear them apart however, inevitably, their dreams are blown to one side by the death of Curley’s wife as Steinbeck makes true the poem ‘even the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley’. Even in killing Lennie, George hangs on to their friendship telling him “Let’s go get that place now” before ending his life and their bond.
The eventual certainty of loneliness is represented by Candy as he gradually loses everyone and everything he ever cared for

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