How does John Steinbeck present the theme of loneliness in “Of Mice and Men”? To be lonely means to feel isolated from others as you may have a lack of friends, family or companionship. In “Of Mice and Men”, loneliness is a strong theme which is shown by all the characters in one way or another throughout the novel. Even though all the characters in the novel live on the same ranch, they are lonely because of their own personal history and backgrounds, and the only thing that connects them all together is their dreams and aspirations. It can be argued that Curley’s wife is the loneliest person in the novel.
Curley’s wife is portrayed as a very insignificant character. Steinbeck presents this insignificance as she is the only woman on the ranch, and throughout the novel, she is not given a name and only referred to names such as “Tart”, “Tramp” and “Curley’s wife” by the other men on the ranch. The name “Curley’s wife” shows she is in possession of her husband only and has no importance to anyone else, making her very isolated. She reveals throughout the novel that she is unhappy in her marriage because Curley seems to care little for her, and is really more interested in talking about himself than anything else.
In an attempt to make friends, Curley’s wife would often attempt to make conversation with the other men on the ranch, by “looking for Curley” and often asking questions. However, the men on the ranch (particularly Candy) refer to her as a “tart” who keeps “giving the eye”, and generally ignore her presence. Further, she stresses her missed ambitions in life; she details twice that she could’ve been a Hollywood movie star, though the chance was taken from her by her mother, who feared she were too young for show bussiness.
This shows that, if she has to become a movie star, she wouldn’t have settled for the life she has now, which is miserable and lonely. Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife as a very unfulfilled woman. An almost equally lonely person on the ranch is Crooks – the negro stable buck. Crooks is also a very insignificant character as he is the only black person on the ranch. In the 1930’s racism was severe, but they did not know any better than to treat black people in the way they did. Even though