Friday, August 30, 2019

Are all the characters in this novella lonely? Essay

In the 1930’s, American ranch workers were living in very lonely, dingy conditions. They would travel for days on end, sleeping rough when and where they had to. They would travel to work long hours for minimum wage. George and Lennie were no exception to this. From the beginning they have to sleep rough whilst they are travelling to Soledad, which also is also the Spanish word for â€Å"lonely†. We find out from the beginning that George and Lennie are complete opposites of each other. George is described as being smaller and slimmer than Lennie, who is very tall and big built. We also see that Lennie tries to copy George a lot, as they both wear the same clothing, and carry their gear in the same way. â€Å"They had walked in single file down the path, and even it the open one stayed behind the other.† This quotation is important because this shows us that Lennie follows George as if he was his mother. This also shows us that Lennie isn’t capable of thinking for himself, so he has to rely on George, being his mother figure, to do everything for him. We can see that George can easily lose his temper with Lennie, when Lennie refuses to get rid of the dead mouse in his pocket. â€Å"George stood up and threw the mouse as far as he could†¦/ don’t you think I could see your feet was wet where you went across the river to get it?† In chapter two, the unequal relationship between the stable buck and the rest of the ranch workers when Candy talks to George; â€Å"He was sure burned when you weren’t here this morning†¦/ An’ he gave the stable buck hell, too.† When the boss gets angry, he takes it out on the stable buck, as he cannot defend himself, partly because of his crooked spine, but also because if he did fight back, then the boss would probably have him killed because of the ethnic differences. In chapter four, the first reasons for Crooks’ loneliness show through. Firstly, he does not sleep with the other ranch workers; he sleeps inside the harness room by himself. The only things he has inside his ‘room’ are â€Å"a mauled copy of the California civil code for 1905†, and â€Å"a tattered dictionary†. The California civil code in his room shows us that he has been educated in his youth, and that he also knows his personal rights. The dictionary in his room shows us that he has tried to understand every word in his California civil code. In this chapter, it is quite obvious that Curley’s wife is going to be lonely, as she is the only woman on the ranch. â€Å"Sat’iday night. Ever’ body out doin’ som’pin†¦/ an’ likin’ it because they ain’t nobody else.† This quotation speaks for itself really, as she is complaining about having to spend time with Lenny, Candy and Crooks. She has to speak with the â€Å"losers† of the ranch and like it because there is no-one else for her to talk to. Another reason why she is lonely is because of the way that Curley treats her. â€Å"Sure I gotta husban’. You all seen him†¦/ â€Å"Jus’ the ol’ one-two an’ he’ll go down†Ã¢â‚¬  She is telling us that Curley doesn’t care about her at all, and that she obviously doesn’t like the way that she’s being treated. In chapter 5, on page 100, Steinbeck creates a feeling of shock and quiet reflection through the shattering of their dream. â€Å"Before George answered, Candy dropped his head and looked down at the bay. He knew.† At the end of page 100, George quickly comes up with a plan. This creates a feeling of pace and action. This signifies the calm before the storm, in tune with the same technique the author had used earlier in the book before Lenny killed Curley’s wife, and at the very beginning of the book. In conclusion, it is quite clear that all the characters in this novella are lonely in their own way. George is lonely in the end after he kills Lenny, this parallels the shooting of Candy’s dog ~ both are shot to protect them from further pain. Candy loses his only companion when Carlson shoots his dog for the selfish reason that it smells. Curley’s wife is lonely throughout the novella until Lenny accidentally kills her, and at the end of chapter 4, Crooks returns to his old self, as he rejects Candy and the others. Crooks chooses to be lonely, however, as he feels safe by himself.

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