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Steinbeck focuses on the theme of loneliness to describe the lives of people at the ranch during the 30s. He applies this theme to three characters in the story, Crooks, Curley’s Wife, and Candy. All three of these characters show a theme of conquering loneliness. We see this transpire through all three characters. Of mice and men we are introduced to some very unique characters. Steinbeck designed some of these characters to have a very depressed or lonely demeanor and we see this in the book.

One of the characters that stood out in the category is Crooks as he is the only black at the ranch was kicked in the back by a horse thus giving him his name and is racially judged constantly. This makes Crooks extremely lonely as all he does is stay in his horse stable alone. Many things in Crook’s stable further tell us that he is lonely such as his single-barreled shotgun. Crooks conquers this severe loneliness by talking to Lennie and getting involved in his and Candy’s dream about the farm and just wanting to get away from racial prejudice. He also allows Lennie to come into his stable and have Candy stand in the doorway. This was very rare for crooks to do because of his current situation. In contrast, the situation that Candy experiences is somewhat similar to Crook’s.

Candy has a very old dog that he cares about. It doesn’t state in the book where Candy had received the dog but we can infer that he had the dog before he arrived at this particular ranch. This dog was the only thing that Candy had to call his own as he had no other family or friends besides the ones at the ranch and even then they weren’t his friends they just kept him around so he could clean up the bathrooms. As soon as Candy is unable to do so they would let him go and just forget about him like they could have done with crooks. As we soon find out Candy’s dog is very old and is unable to do dog things. Carlson suggests that he puts the dog out of its misery. This puts Candy in a very bad situation as he doesn’t want the dog to leave him. Candy finally gives in and allows Carlson to kill the dog. This destroys Candy sending him into a deep depressed lonely state. He talks to George saying he should have shot the dog himself.

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Candy was already lonely even when he had the dog because he has no family to talk to he even goes on to say in the text that he would be directed to the guys at the ranch because of this predicament. Candy’s way of conquering his loneliness was by having this dog and planning on buying the dream farm with Lennie and the crooks. His dog was his companion, his only source of true love in the book. He also makes his dream come true by actually buying the farm they plan on owning. This way Candy could conquer his loneliness fully as he is going to be around Crooks and Lennie and they can form a bond while they are maintaining the farm. Moving on to Curley’s Wife. The Wife is written as a pretty straightforward character at the beginning of the book as he never really knows what her name is and she is mainly viewed as a mean, seductive woman who flirts to get anything she wants. Curley and his wife don’t love each other at all as they both exploit each other for their desires. Curley only married her to stand out at the ranch and flag her around as a trophy he has acquired. Curley’s wife only married Curley to get away from her mother.

Curley’s wife is very lonely at the ranch and her husband knows this. Nobody will talk or hang around them because they fear a beating may ensue. Before marrying Curley, she was trying to be an actress. At the time she was “dating” a man who said he could help her star in a movie and he was going to call her back after. Several days had passed and she received no call from the mysterious man. Her only way out of her mother’s grip was escaping with Curley. We then see her talking to Lennie in the barn. Lennie was told by George not to talk to her as she is manipulative and dangerous. She takes this to heart and doesn’t understand why everyone thinks she is a bad person. She further tries to get closer to Lennie telling him to feel her hair. This causes Lennie to get very happy as he likes to touch soft things. Lennie gets too engaged in her soft hair causing his hand to get stuck in her hair. As he is trying to release his hand he accidentally breaks her neck killing her instantly.

The wife’s way of conquering her loneliness was by flirting with the men at the ranch as her marriage was very disconnected and lonely. She wanted to be loved as a woman not as some trophy to be waved around by her unloving husband. All three of these characters either conquered their loneliness or at least tried to in a way. They are also having similar letters in their name as their names all start with the letter C. They also have a strange affiliation with Lennie. crooks allow Lennie into his stable. Candy plans on buying a farm and allowing Lennie to tag along with him. And the wife flirts with Lennie allowing him to touch her soft hair.

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Of Mice and Men’ Essay Comparing Movie and Book.
(2024, April 10). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 11, 2024, from

“Of Mice and Men’ Essay Comparing Movie and Book.” Edubirdie, 10 Apr. 2024,

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Of Mice and Men’ Essay Comparing Movie and Book [Internet]. Edubirdie.
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