Loneliness is a key theme in Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck for many characters in the novel were isolated and secluded. Curley’s wife had a dream of making it in the movies but after marrying Curley she was stuck on the ranch and not allowed to talk to anybody. The stable-buck Crooks was discriminated against for he was black and this caused some severe problems because he was isolated from everyone. Guys who travel around looking for work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world for they have no permanent home and nothing to look forward to.
After marrying Curley, Curley’s wife was stuck on the ranch all by herself. She was isolated from everyone because she was the only female on the ranch and had no friends. Curley wanted to keep her all for himself because he did not trust her to stay loyal. Only two weeks into her marriage with Curley, Curley’s wife was starting to realise that she was stuck there alone with nobody to talk to. It is evident when she said “you can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley” that all she wanted was someone else to talk to.
Crooks was a black stable-buck who was looked down upon and treated like dirt because of the colour of his skin. The way he was treated was shown when we are told that ‘the boss gives him hell when he’s mad’ this shows how he is treated lesser than everyone else because the boss gives him hell and nobody else. Because he was separated and secluded from everyone around him he realised that “a guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody” because he was so alone because no one wanted to be near him. He was over being so lonely and when he says “a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick” we realise that he is over being so lonely and cannot take it anymore. In the time that this book was written black people were treated like nothing and this left them feeling lonely and unwanted, just like the ranchmen of that time.
Men who carried their belongings from ranch to ranch looking for work never have a stable home and are always on the move leaving them lonely and longing for a better life. George says “we don’t belong to no place” telling us that ranchmen are always on the move and that they don’t have a place that they can just go back that they can call home. When George says “guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world” this gives us an insight into how these ranchmen feel and how they see themselves being the loneliest guys in the world