How is the theme of loneliness developed in this chapter? Think about the characters Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curley's wife.
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In the book "Of Mice and Men" Candy is all alone. He has worked as a ranch hand all of his life. He traveled from ranch to ranch and worked alongside other men just like him. There was a friendship among the workers but as they moved on the friendships did not last. Each man was only as good as the weight he could pull on a job. Candy's hand was mangled and he could not do the same work anymore. He is older and sits in the bunkhouse alone all day. The only thing he had that loved him back was his dog. The men put his old and smelly dog down, leaving Candy now totally alone and lonely.
Curley's wife is surrounded by men but has no friends. Curley is very jealous and can not stand her to even talk with any of the men. To the men she is dangerous because she can get them into trouble with the hot tempered Curley. She lives in a world where men control everything. She is dependent on Curley and his father for everything. She lives on a ranch and has no female friends. She is married but spends most of her time alone and sad.
Lennie is not really lonely. He has George and he is less aware of what loneliness means. His simple mind does not allow him to dwell on being lonely. He has George who looks after him and keeps him on track. When George goes to town he talks to Candy and the black man and fills his time.
Crooks was a lot like Candy and the other men. He went from place to place self-isolated from others by the nature of what he did for a living.
I actually don't think that Lennie is lonely; I think he misses George, but George always comes back, therefore it's missing not loneliness. Crooks is lonely because he's ostracized, it's that simple, but he is also partially responsible for that because as we see, he immediately tries to shut himself off from Lennie and rid himself of him. The way people have treated him in the past has caused him to put a chip on his shoulder, and in essence, I see him ostracizing himself.
Candy is a whole other story. He's getting up in years, he's wandered taking jobs as they've become available, and his injury has pretty much closed him off to other option. Because of the way they live true friendships are never realized. His one true friend and companion was the dog, and the dog is gone now. Animals serve unbelievable purposes in the lives of humanity.
Curly's wife is lonely, period. She didn't marry for love, she didn't follow her dreams, and she ended up settling for a wedding ring, a roof over head, and a husband she didn't know well enough to form that kind of commitment. I think she expected a lot of things and didn't get any of them. She wanted love like every other character depicted here, and she got jealousy and isolation instead. If her husband loved her............ it might have been different.