How are the characters Slim and Curley lonely in the novel Of Mice and Men?detail reference with quotes if possible please...

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rshaffer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Slim can be viewed as the hero of the story, he is still lonely because he is more of a doer than a dreamer.  He is a hard working ranch hand who does an excellent job. Loneliness is typical of men like Slim who chose this life as a means to make money because they travel alone and move around quite often whenever a job is complete.  A quote by George helps to understand the loneliness of ranch hands:

"Guys like us," George says, "that work on the ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong noplace."

On the otherhand, because Curley's family owns the ranch, one would think that he is not lonely.  This is far from the truth.  Curley is a lonely character because he is a coward.  He has no friends, and he is married to a woman that does not love him.  In fact, his loneliness is further realized because he cannot love his wife; he can only possess her.