Why are the themes of loneliness and isolation important in the novel Of Mice and Men?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The themes of loneliness and isolation in John Steinbeck's novella 'Of Mice and Men' are important because they are universal themes (that it is they are timeless in terms of mankind's life on earth from the beginning,now and maybe into the future.) In other words, since time began, man has been a sociable being - and as time went on he was able to make huge strides in comparison with other species due to his ability to communicate and above all to co-operate, to share skills and get things done for the benefit of all. Sadly, many of the characters in the noverlla have communication challenges, and are isolated -both in terms of geography and personality. The most obvious symbol of this is Lenny's learning disability, yet every character has a relationship challenge of his own.