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What are the main quotes that relate to isolation in this novel?I am focusing this on...

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izzielouise | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:11 AM via web

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What are the main quotes that relate to isolation in this novel?

I am focusing this on Lennie, Candy, Crooks and Curley's wife, i am not sure what quotes to use, or how isolation actually comes into this novel. I just need a bit of help with quotes to get me going! :)

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:04 AM (Answer #1)

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Each of the characters you mention deals with loneliness, although the reasons for that loneliness vary.  While each of the characters experiences a sense of isolation, the degree to which each man feels separated from others also differs from character to character.

At times, Lennie seems to be at least somewhat cognizant of the fact that he is a less than desirable traveling companion.  Because of this, he feels a sense of isolation that is assuaged only by George's companionship.  When Crooks questions Lennie about what he would do if George did not return from town, Lennie reacts with fear.

"He won't do it," Lennie cried.  "George wouldn't do nothing like that.  I been with George a long time.  He'll come back tonight--" But the doubt was too much for him.  "Don't you think he will?"

Crooks is isolated physically, as well as emotionally, due to his race.  Because he is African-American, Crooks is not allowed to interact with the other men on a truly "free" basis.  He makes this obvious during his conversation with Lennie.

Candy is partially isolated physically, since he can't work with the men in a typical way and must make do with "lesser" work.  He is also isolated emotionally, since he is aware of the implications of his disability and aging.

Isolation plays a definitely role in the the life of Curley's wife, who feels as she has been left out of a great many things and done and injustice in being only "Curley's wife."  She reacts to her seperation with poor behavior and desperation, as well as self-pity.

"...Seems like they ain't none of them cares how I gotta live.  I tell you I ain't used to livin' like this.  I coulda made somethin' of myself...I don' like Curley.  He ain't a nice fella...Coulda been in the movies, an' had nice clothes--all them nice clothes like they wear..."

Despite their great differences, each of the four characters mentioned is alike in his or her separation.  The loneliness resulting from their shortcomings or burdens could have brought them closer to others, but it was allowed to isolate them instead.

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