lilymeadows
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#1
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#1
If this helps anyone then great, but I am looking for some tips and advice on how to improve this:

In what ways is loneliness significant in the novel?

John Steinbeck's novella of Mice and Men, inlcudes a constant underlining theme of loneliness, in which all characters are affected by on different levels. This mirrors the microcosm of America during the 1930's.

Curley's wife highlights this theme throughout. The fact she doesn't have her own name shows she is seen as an object, and is Curley's posession. This isolates her from the others on the ranch. 'She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward' shows that she seeks attention, as her relationship with Curley lacks the love that she desires. 'Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awfully lonely', this proves that Curley's wife is the lonliest character on the ranch, adn this particular quotes makes us feel sympahty towards her.

Loneliness is also illustrated through Curley himself. 'Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys. is said by Candy after Curley threaghtens Lennie. This demonstrates that loneliness can change ones personality. Curley is so focused on being respected, he acts violently towards others. He is isolated as he is not liked by many of the men on the ranch, or even his own wife.

Crooks is another example of loneliness. He is cut off from all the other ranchmen, and is dicriminated against, due to his racial background. 'A little shed that leaned off the wall of the barm' could be interpreted as African-American's leaning off society through the 1930's. Although Crooks isn't delighted about his loneliness, it gives him a snese of safety and security. He has no choice but to endure prejudice and isolation.

Overall, these characters are significantly linked to the theme of loneliness through setting, and their own personal problems in 1930's America.
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sophie-xx
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#2
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Nice essay Here's a few points I think you could add:

- The idea that Curley's Wife 'leaned against the door frame' could be expanded a little more: she's leaning against the door frame because as a women, she's not allowed to trespass into the masculine space of the ranch, instead she's forced to look in at all the men and talk to them through the door. This sense that she can't cross the metaphorical boundary into the masculine ranch world heightens her physical and emotional isolation.

- Perhaps in your Crook's paragraph, you could mention how he says: 'I'm not allowed in the bunk house... Cause I'm black, they say I stink'. This quote suggests how Crooks is physically ostracised from the white space of the ranch, and this heightens the sense that as a black man in a white world, he's truly all alone.

I would also develop your conclusion a bit more - you could mention how it is the disempowered characters who experience the most loneliness in the novel. As such, Steinbeck implies that those who don't fit into 1930s society, whether that's due to their race or some sort of disability, are destined to a lonely, isolated existence.

Hope that makes sense and helps a bit! xx
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lilymeadows
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#3
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(Original post by sophie-xx)
Nice essay Here's a few points I think you could add:

- The idea that Curley's Wife 'leaned against the door frame' could be expanded a little more: she's leaning against the door frame because as a women, she's not allowed to trespass into the masculine space of the ranch, instead she's forced to look in at all the men and talk to them through the door. This sense that she can't cross the metaphorical boundary into the masculine ranch world heightens her physical and emotional isolation.

- Perhaps in your Crook's paragraph, you could mention how he says: 'I'm not allowed in the bunk house... Cause I'm black, they say I stink'. This quote suggests how Crooks is physically ostracised from the white space of the ranch, and this heightens the sense that as a black man in a white world, he's truly all alone.

I would also develop your conclusion a bit more - you could mention how it is the disempowered characters who experience the most loneliness in the novel. As such, Steinbeck implies that those who don't fit into 1930s society, whether that's due to their race or some sort of disability, are destined to a lonely, isolated existence.

Hope that makes sense and helps a bit! xx
Thanks so much! That is very helpfull x
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Powersymphonia
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#4
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America isn't a microcosm, rather the novel is a microcosm of America. In a novel, a microcosm is a small world or space, which reflects the larger world in which it is contained. The ranch is solitary, but yet it is only one of many solitary ranches in the USA where men like George and Lennie earn their keep. At the beginning of the novel George and Lennie roam alone in the wilderness of the forest. The only other living things around them are creatures like the heron and the water snake.
Crooks is separated from the white men and is treated like an animal because of the colour of his skin. He is reduced to the status of an animal. He is lonely because he is treated differently, yet he is empowered by this loneliness as he is able to enjoy intellectual pursuits. The books that are in his small, solitary room are evidence of Crooks's desire to attain knowledge.
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