How do Curley's wife and Crooks symbolize loneliness in Of Mice and Men?

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In Of Mice and Men, Curley’s wife and Crooks represent loneliness and isolation in terms of gender and race, respectively. Curley’s wife also symbolizes dependence through her idleness. She does not even have a name, is the only female person on the ranch, and does not have a job to do. Wholly dependent on her vain, insensitive husband, she wanders around the ranch. The refuge she sought in marriage, to a man she has just met, does not fulfill her desire to escape her humdrum life. Her loneliness drives her to confide in Lennie, leading him to the fatal error of believing they are friends.

Crooks, in contrast, is a hard-working man who lives apart from the other ranch hands because of his race. The ranch living accommodations are segregated so he cannot bunk with the other hands. However, this separation also gives him a measure of privacy that the others lack and that he values. This aloofness is accentuated when Lennie walks in uninvited; Crooks tells him that he “ain’t...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 545 words.)

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