Loneliness is the core of a broken soul. It feeds on exile and hate. It engulfs dreams, pleasures and certain futures. Those who live with loneliness everyday cannot express how deep of a feeling it is to have everything you enjoy crushed by the absence of companionship. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck explores the relationship of loneliness to a human being by his three characters: Crooks, Candy and Curly’s wife.
These characters are an example of how loneliness can affect a person’s life forever. Crooks is one of the loneliness characters in the book and it is because of prejudice that he suffers this exile. The fellow workers on the Ranch cause Crooks not to be a part of their group because of the racism that existed in society in that particular time period. Crooks is not allowed to be close friends with anyone or participate in the fun stuff other Ranch workers are able to enjoy. These things combined with others cause Crooks to feel inferior and lonely. He feels as though there is no one on the Ranch he can be friends with. Crooks is one of the loneliest people on the ranch and the saddest because he is unable to do things normal people could do because of his color.
Candy was a character who felt the despair of loneliness when he was forced to have his best and only friend killed. His friend was a loyal and loving sheepdog that grew up with Candy and had stuck with him through thick and thin. This destroyed Candy’s heart and replaced it with an empty pit of loneliness. Candy felt he had no one to live for anymore. This is a horrible tragedy because Candy allowed the lonesomeness to devour his hopes of living. Curly’s wife was not a character to pity much, although she did experience loneliness in the story. She was lonely because everyone stereotyped her and refused to talk to her on the Ranch. Curly’s wife had dreams of becoming a great actress in the movies, but married Curly because she wanted to get out of her house.
Her loneliness was not the worst kind. She was however almost as much exiled as Crooks, yet she allowed her position on the Ranch manipulate others so she could have friends. All these characters were lonely. Crooks was lonely because of racism and exile. Candy was lonely because the death of his friend and Curly’s wife was lonely for friends. Each character lost their dreams and hopes to loneliness and it affected each of their lives differently. Crook’s life was effected by him excepting the racism and not fighting for what he felt was right. Candy’s life was affected by him not wanting to live anymore. Curly’s wife’s life was affected by her getting killed because she was so desperate to have a friend. Each of the characters felt the feeling that only the lonely could feel.