Loneliness in of Mice and Men

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Our modern society is a highly competitive one. As a result, people are constantly trying to overpower each other. Through this, many hardships and conflicts occur. With the characters in the book mimicking the common people in society, Of Mice and Men teaches a grim lesson about the nature of human existence. Through the actions of his characters, Steinbeck aims to show the self-destruction of humanity by its greed for power. Nearly all of the characters admit to having a profound sense of loneliness and isolation. Each desires the comfort of a friend, but is unwilling to accept others. In the novella, Curley’s wife admits that she is unhappily married, yet she makes herself into a threatening figure. Crooks tells Lennie that life is no good without a companion to turn to in times of confusion and need, but he displays himself as rude and unwelcoming. Bitter as a result of solitude, the characters constant distrust in others stems from their sense of competitiveness from society to keep their job secure. The characters are rendered helpless by their isolation, and yet, even at their weakest, they seek to destroy those who are even weaker than they. Crooks criticizes Lennie’s dream of the farm and his dependence on George, and appears to be at his strongest when he has nearly reduced Lennie to tears. "Crooks' face lightened with pleasure from his torture." Throughout his entire encounter with Lennie, Crooks is only shown to smile after he showers misery onto him. Likewise, Curley’s wife feels most powerful when she threatens to have Crooks lynched. She warns, "I could get you strung upon a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.” Curley's wife uses Crooks mistake to lash out her anger at her helpless position and develops a sense of superiority from this. "...she stood over him as though waiting for him to move so that she could whip at him again." The novella teaches us

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