Crooks, Candy, Lennie, and Curley's wife are lonely people with specific needs. How can I compare the four characters and evaluate what each one would need to end their particular loneliness?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This is a great question. Crooks, Candy, Lennie, and Curley’s wife are lonely. More specifically, there is something about them that removes them from society. Crooks is the only black man on the ranch. Therefore, he lives alone, and he has no interaction with others. In fact, we find out that no one has visited him in his abode.

Candy is an older man, who has lived past his prime. Therefore, he feels useless. He sees himself as expendable. This separates him from the other men.

Lennie is mentally challenged. So, no one understands him or wants much to do with him. His only friend is George. In the end, he dies by the hand of George in a tragic death.

Finally, Curley’s wife is the lone woman mentioned in the novella. She, therefore, feels alone. Moreover, she is in a loveless marriage. She despises her husband, Curley.  She is also not even given a name. This suggests how insignificant she is on the ranch.

As we can see, Steinbeck’s world is a lonely one. What they each need is compassion and understanding from others. If they had this, their loneliness would come to an end. Ironically, the one who is best off is Lennie, because he has George. This shows what the others need. The tragedy is that no one has it.

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