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Word Count: 1,560
Steinbecks novel Of Mice and Men teaches a grim lesson about the nature of human existence and isolation The novel emphasizes the loneliness and powerlessness of its characters who must take comfort from insubstantial dreams of a better life Nearly all of the characters including Lennie Candy and Crooks admit at one time or another to having a profound sense of loneliness and isolation We clearly see that each desires the comfort of a friend but will settle for the attentive ear of a stranger Perhaps the most powerful example of this tendency is in when all the ranch hands go to town leaving Crooks Lennie and Candy behind They desperately admit to each other their fear of being cast off because of their disabilities Lennie for his mental disability Crooks for his skin colour and Candy for his old age Being outcasts Lennie Crooks and Candy discuss the dream of owning their own farm where they will be respected and considered useful In this section of the novel Steinbeck emphasizes the value of relationships by expressing the novels social outcasts continual search for companionship It should come as no surprise therefore that men like Candy and Crooks idealize dignity and respect in such a way given the harsh lonely conditions under which they live All throughout his discussion with Lennie Crooks the black stable buck who takes his name from his crooked back admits his extreme loneliness At first he turns Lennie away hoping to prove his point that if he as a black man is not allowed in the other ranch hands quarters then the other men are not allowed in his You got no right to come in my roomNobody got any right in here but me Steinbeck 68 Nonetheless his desire for company ultimately wins out and he invites Lennie in his room saying Come on in and set a while Steinbeck 69 When Lennie asks him why he is
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