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Steinbeck’s Use Of Characters To Deliver His Greater Message To The Reader In Of Mice And Men

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Many of the characters in the novel Of Mice and Men are isolated and openly discuss their feelings of loneliness. Steinbeck uses Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife help deliver his greater message to the reader.

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Candy openly shows his emotions to George when he says ‘You seen what they done to my dog tonight? They says he wasn’t no good to himself nor nobody else. When they can me here I wisht somebody’d shoot me…’ (Steinbeck 60). This shows Candy’s loneliness by showing the reader that candy believes his life isn’t worth living and how he wishes it could end. Another quote that shows Candy’s feeling of loneliness is I’d make a will an’ leave my share to you guys in case I kick off, ’cause I ain’t got no relatives nor nothing’…’ (Steinbeck 59). This quote goes to show that candy is ready to get out of his intense lonely life.

Another character that Steinbeck uses to get across his greater message to the reader is Crooks. Crooks expresses his loneliness by saying ‘S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk house and play rummy ’cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody-to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick’ (Steinbeck 80). He states many reasons he’s lonely in his little speech to Lennie but the meaning of this quote is it shows how isolated he is from his white peers and having to stay alone in the barn while the other white men get to bunk together.

Curley’s wife also played a role in showing Steinbeck’s greater message by saying stuff like ‘I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely.’, ‘What’s the matter with me? Ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody?’, and ‘Seems like they ain’t none of them cares how I gotta live’. Which shows she’s lonely because she’s the only woman on the ranch and Curley keeps her locked up in the house all day.

All of these characters helped Steinbeck shows his greater message that anyone can be lonely no matter the circumstances. 

01 February 2021

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