In Of Mice and Men, how is Curley portrayed as lonely?

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It's tough at the top, as they say, and as the ranch boss's son, Curley certainly feels somewhat isolated. He has an exaggerated sense of his own masculinity; he wants to be one of the boys, but there'll always be an inevitable distance between himself and those who work for him. More than anything else, though, Curley is chronically insecure; that's why he always feels the need to prove himself in trials of strength with the ranch hands. Unable to satisfy his voluptuous wife, Curley can't even find much in the way of companionship in his own marriage.

The truth is, no one really likes Curley all that much, and it's not hard to see why. If it weren't for the fact that he's the boss's son, then it's highly unlikely that he'd enjoy such a position of authority on the ranch. Despite his relatively privileged status in life, Curley goes around with a permanent chip on his shoulder, and that's usually guaranteed to prevent someone from forming any kind of meaningful connection with anyone else. Hence his perpetual loneliness.

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Curley can be seen as lonely because he is unable to emotionally connect with anyone on the ranch.

Curley brings much of his isolation on himself.  He is threatened by "big guys" and demonstrates physical aggression often, channeling his previous occupation as a boxer. The ranch hands know this, as seen in how Candy describes Curley as always wanting to "pick on big guys."  Curley is also alone because of his status as the boss's son.  No ranch hand really wants to get to know Curley because they know that it might impact their job on the ranch.  Curley accepts the social estrangement associated with being the boss's son and does not seek to overcome this for the purpose of forging emotional connection with the drifting farm hands who make up his social world.  

Curley is also lonely because of his relationship with his wife. He and his wife are not emotionally connected to one another.  As Whit says, Curley's wife spends her time looking for Curley, who, in turn, spends his time looking for her.  Neither one is able to find emotional comfort within the other. The result of this emotional separation is a feeling of loneliness within Curley.  There is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  The former indicates some level of contentment.  Curley is not really alone, but he's lonely because he is unable to find a sustainable emotional connection. 

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How are Lennie, George, and Curley lonely in Of Mice and Men?

The pain of loneliness is one of the major themes in Steinbeck's novella. The characters who are overtly lonely include Crooks and Curley's wife, but an argument could be made that all the characters suffer from loneliness and alienation. Lennie and George have a distinct advantage over the other characters because they have each other. Lennie is often saying, in reference to their friendship and how others might be alone:

“But not us! An’ why? Because . . . . because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why.”

Lennie, however, becomes lonely when George goes into Soledad on a Saturday night. In chapter four, he is in the barn when he sees Crooks's light. He is naturally interested in starting a conversation with Crooks out of the need to be with someone, which Crooks will bitterly describe to Lennie in this chapter.

George is sometimes described with the term "morose." While not defined as loneliness it does indicate that George is sullen and gloomy. He feels the depression and loneliness of a man who is always on the move, never able to put down roots and stay in one place. Moreover, he is constantly worried about Lennie and what the big man might do which will get them in trouble or "canned" from a job. His dream is to one day have his own "little piece of land." This dream farm is for George, and other characters, the solution to loneliness and unease.

Curley is a man alone searching for companionship which he never finds. He is forever looking for his wife or trying to intimidate the other men, which seems to be simply a way of getting their attention and showing off his perceived power over them. Unfortunately for Curley, he never finds his wife and never connects with any of the men. He is, even more than Crooks and his wife, an outcast without friends. That he feels the pain of this loneliness is unclear. Throughout the story he remains a static character who never changes from the brutish and angry little man who is introduced in chapter two.

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How are the characters Slim and Curley lonely in the novel Of Mice and Men?

During Lennie's conversation with Crooks, Crooks describes the men on the ranch as lonely, homeless individuals, who live transient lives traveling from ranch to ranch looking for work. Crooks tells Lennie,

"I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an' on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an' that same damn thing in their heads. Hundreds of them. They come, an' they quit an' go on; an' every damn one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever'body wants a little piece of lan'" (Steinbeck, 36).

Even though Slim is depicted as a wise authority figure, he still works on the ranch and does not have a family of his own. Slim does not mention a dream of owning his own homestead, but continually travels into town to congregate with women and drink, which signifies that he is a rather lonely man, like the other workers on the ranch.

Curley is the boss's son, who is portrayed as an aggressive man. When George first arrives on the ranch, Candy tells him, "Well, I think Curley's married... a tart" (Steinbeck, 14). Curley's wife causes him stress, and he is continually looking for her on the ranch. Curley reveals that he is an insecure man who is rather lonely because his wife does not show him affection. She is unhappy with their marriage and continually attempts to talk to the ranch workers. Curley fears that his wife will cheat on him, which is why he is constantly upset and looking for her.

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How are the characters Slim and Curley lonely in the novel Of Mice and Men?

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.

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In what way is Curley lonely in Of Mice and Men?

As the son of the boss, Curley is alienated from the bindle stiffs, who avoid engaging with him out of fear for their jobs because the jealous Curley always suspects the men of flirting with his wife.

After Curley belligerently enters the bunkhouse, George warns Lennie that because of the way Curley has acted and how he has looked at Lennie, Lennie will have trouble with Curley and they will be fired. 

"Look, Lennie. You try to keep away from him, will you? Don't never speak to him. If he comes in here you move clear to the other side of the room. Will you do that, Lennie?"

Apparently, Curley is very high strung and possessive of his new wife. Of course, there is some justification for this anxiety over what his wife is doing or where she might be since there are no other women on the ranch and she is pretty and rather seductive in her actions. But, because he is always so suspicious of the other men, Curley cannot be friends with anyone. His tone of voice is always threatening to them, and he seems to be looking for a fight.
In Chapter 3, Curley steps into the bunkhouse and looks

...threateningly around the room. "Where the hell's Slim?"
"Went out into the barn," said George. "He was gonna put some tar on a split hoof."
Curley's shoulders dropped and squared. "How long ago'd he go?"
"Five-ten minutes."
Curley jumped out the door and banged it after him.

One of the workers named Whit says that he is going to watch what happens.

"Curley's just spoilin' or he wouldn't start for Slim....I like to see the fuss if it come off."

Later, Slim comes into the bunkhouse, his hands black with tar. Curley follows and apologizes to Slim, "Well, I didn't mean nothing, Slim. I just ast you."
Slim says,

"Well, you been askin' me too often. I'm gettin'...damn sick of it. If you can't look after your own...damn wife, what you expect me to do about it? You lay offa me."

Curley tries to apologize, but Carlson then injects his opinions, saying Curley should tell his wife to stay home. Letting her "hang around bunk houses" will soon bring trouble, he warns. Enraged that a mere ranch hand would talk this way to him, Curley tells Carlson to stay out of his conversation with Slim, or he can step outside with him if he wants. Carlson laughs and accuses Curley of being afraid of Slim. Moreover, he threatens Curley if he tries anything with him.

Clearly, Curley's quick temper is a problem for him. He seems to be always looking for a fight to prove that he is superior, perhaps because he is insecure about his marriage. At any rate, he finds himself without any friends because he is so suspicious of the men, suspecting that they are interested in his new wife.

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