Soledad means Loneliness. Why is this relevant in Of Mice and Men?
Loneliness is relevant in “Of Mice and Men” because it affects the characters and the relationships they form, the ranch setting enforces loneliness upon the characters and the language that Steinbeck uses also creates a sense of loneliness. Hopes and dreams are a main theme in the book and the majority of the characters have hopes and dreams because it offers them a chance to escape from loneliness. Steinbeck wanted to show that, after the stock market crash of 1929, the American Dream was becoming impossible to achieve or even believe in.
The relevance of loneliness to “Of Mice and Men’ is shown through the characters. As Curley’s wife says, “Ever’body needs someone to talk to.” Most of the characters suffer from loneliness at some point. Curley’s wife, Candy and Crooks are lonely as a result of being different to the social norm of the ranch. The need to be accepted drives the characters to extreme behaviour for example when Curley’s wife tells Crooks that she “could get [him] lynched so easy it ain’t even funny.” The loneliness she feels means she cannot interact properly or form relationships with the men on the ranch because she constantly has to defend herself.
George and Lennie are the only characters who manage even a slight companionship. The other characters are immediately suspicious, as the boss says to George, “Are you taking his pay?” Loneliness is the norm on the ranch; the idea of two men travelling together for company is very unusual within the novel but is attractive to other ranch workers; most notably Candy who quickly joins the dream to buy a plot of land as a way to escape his lonely, harsh surroundings.
The main setting of the bunk house is a workplace with many people so it is quite ironic that the men should feel so lonely. However Steinbeck’s language reinforces the idea that the bunk house is a lonely place, “…evening brightness [shows] through the windows...