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The War of Loneliness
“A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ", - John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a classic novella about two men surviving the historic time of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Throughout the book, we are introduced to loneliness. We also see how characters were lonely, and how destruction became an effect of their loneliness. Also, we find how characters tried to block their loneliness, and how overall results impact them.
“‘A guy needs somebody-to be near him.’ He whined,
‘A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody.’” Chapter 4, pg72
Loneliness is an emotion that can be dealt with in different ways. In the story the author placed each character in their own trails of loneliness. For example, Curley’s wife: she’s a married woman and lives a good life. She’s supposed to be happy right? But she wasn’t. Often Curley’s wife would get lonely and sad because she couldn’t fulfill her dreams. Another example is Lennie Small; he is a big man with great strength. Doesn’t he sound handsome? But throughout the book, the reader learns that Lennie is mildly retarded. Lennie’s condition made him feel very lonely and isolated from everyone around him. My personal experience with loneliness is similar to Lennie. I also start feeling lonely when people push me away.
“Although there was evening brightness showing
through the windows of the bunk house, inside
it was dusk.” Chapter 3, pg38
What can someone do to block loneliness? People try to deal with loneliness in different ways. The author shows this throughout the books. Lennie felt that the only way he would feel better from feeling lonely was to pet soft things. Curley’s wife also tried to block her loneliness by pretending and showing others her live is great when she knew it wasn’t. In this case, I am just like Curley’s wife. I have had experience on pretending everything is great when I know inside I feel lonely.
“Lennie smiled helplessly in an attempt
to make friends.” Chapter 4, pg 7-8
For a problem there is always a result either positive or negative. Unfortunately in the story characters deal with loneliness destructively. One example of a destructive behavior because of loneliness though out the book is when Curley’s wife tried to hang out with Lennie to help her own loneliness. She allowed him to touch her hair, until he started getting rough with her. Curely’s wife screamed and Lennie couldn’t keep her quiet. He killed Curley’s wife by mistake while roughly trying to shut her up. This was a result of Lennie’s loneliness. If Curley’s wife would’ve screamed loud enough so that George could hear it, Lennie thought George would leave him for good. Just like this “strong man”, fear has overcome me and impacted others around me. Even though I live in New York City, where everything is gaud and handed to me, the feeling of loneliness can have an effect. I have put myself in situation where my loneliness resulted into a negative problem.
Loneliness in general is a hard feeling to cope with. In the story Of Mice and Men loneliness was not dealt with wisely, but more destructively. Loneliness should be solved in a more positive way to prevent disasters from happening. Talking to others about our loneliness can help. Also thinking about things we do or say before acting can bring a positive result. We don’t have to feel lonely!
‘“an why?', because….because I got you to look after me,
and you got me to look after you, and thats why.”- Lennie Small