Steinbeck’s novella “ Of Mice and Men” is a story with themes of dreams and aspirations, themes of powerlessness, themes of prejudice, themes of companionship or friendship and the desire for it, and most importantly to this paper: themes of loneliness. “ Of Mice and Men” has its story set during The Great Depression of the 1930’s. The Great Depression was a time of immense hardship for Americans, and with that hardship came loneliness, many people were unemployed or if they worked – often for almost nothing, they hopped from job to job, town to town even if they had families and friends. The theme of loneliness in “ Of Mice and Men” was written for people then to read, connect with, and relate to; but it still applies to us today. Some examples to which we can relate to today are:*Candy is lonely after his dog is killed, despite the dog being described as “ old” “ stinky” and “ crippled”, he is saddened because the dog was his companion and his friend.*Curley’s wife is lonely because her husband didn’t turn out to be the person, or the friend that she had hoped for.
She deals with this by going around and flirting with the men of the ranch, which in turn makes Curley jealous and angry, which in turn makes the men of the ranch avoid Curley’s wife, which in turn makes her even lonelier. Steinbeck’s “ Of Mice and Men” wasn’t just a product of The Great Depression, but of the Modernist Era as a whole which not only included The Great Depression but also World War I, The Immigration Act, the Stock Market crash which led to The Great Depression, and The Dust Bowl.