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Lone, Alone on the Range (of Mice and Men)

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Essay title: Lone, Alone on the Range (of Mice and Men)

Lone, Alone on the Range

What is the hidden message in the novel Of Mice and Men? It is a secret to life that many discover, but can't fix. Without many trusted and compatible friends, it is difficult to avoid loneliness. The story was written in the 1930's, during the Great Depression. This was a desperate time for many poor workers, and the story has a theme of the loneliness of migrant workers. John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men proves, through characterization, that loneliness is an overwhelming problem had by many people, and it is difficult to overcome.

George, a main character, seems to hardly ever be alone, but is always lonely on the inside. George complains to Lennie, his companion, “They run us outa Weed” (7). Because of his supposed “friend”, Lennie (a mentally retarded man), George couldn't stay long at the last ranch at which he worked. Lennie was accused of sexual harassment, and George was kicked out as well as Lennie, only because they were friends. Although he has a “friend”, George does not have a very good relationship with Lennie. Since Lennie is mentally retarded, Lennie drags George down, in a way. George complains to Lennie, “God a'mighty, if I was alone I could live so easy” (11). George gets frustrated not being able to live as he would on ranches if he didn't have Lennie tagging along. Lennie seems to be more like a pest than a friend. Throughout the novel, George never finds anybody with whom he could befriend other than Lennie, who is hardly a friend at all.

Lennie, who also is a main character, is avoided by many of the other characters. Lennie is mentally retarded as well as being a very strong man. The other ranch hands tend to stay away from Lennie because of fear. Lennie could easily hurt somebody with his dangerous combination of strength and lack of intelligence. One of Lennie's favorite possessions is his puppy given from the ranch hand Slim. The puppy is one of the few living beings on the ranch that doesn't judge him. Lenny loves the puppy, and it is crushing to him when he accidentally kills the dog. Lenny is very angry that the pup passed away, leaving him alone. He shouts at the dog, “Why do you got to get killed?” (85). Lennie has trouble coping with the loss of the puppy which was a friend of his. Since Lennie has trouble making friends with others, he must resort to feeling soft objects with his hands. He needs the consolation of patting mice since he lacks human companionship. Lennie explains to Curley's wife, “I like to pet nice things with my fingers, sof' things” (90). Lennie is so desperate for friendship that he has to resort to stroking mice. Lennie's

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