Of Mice and Men is one of Steinbeck’s best novels. John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, CA he goes back to that setting for this novel. There are five to six characters that Steinbeck develops and opens up to the reader through the novel. Although George, Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curlys wife all seek a place to belong and someone to love as a cure to there loneliness, all their dreams for a better future are destroyed in the novel.
George and Lennie are an unlikely pair of friends who are introduced in the beginning. George is small and quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp, strong features.(2) Lennie contradicts George because he is a huge man, shapeless of face, with large pale eyes, with wide sloping shoulders, and he walked heavily.(2) George is the more dominant of the two because Lennie is slow in the head. George and Lennie are different from the rest of the people in the same occupation because as Lennie said to George, because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and thats why.(14) They are also different because as George said, We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us.(14) They also share a common goal for their future together. They want to be able to live on there own and have a couple of acres so they can plant things and have animals. They are going to live off the fatta the lan.(14) This single dream makes George and Lennie different from everyone else.
Candy is a nice, old, handicapped man on the ranch. He lost his hand four years earlier in a farm machine while working. Candy overheard George and Lennie discussing about a small piece of land they would like to buy. Candy was compensated $250 for the lost of his hand and has a total of $350 he is willing to invest into the place with George and Lennie. Candy wants to get the place soon because he knows they are going to fire him sometime in the near future. When they fire him he will not have anyone or anything at all. Candy says, When they can me here I just wisht somebody shoot me. But they wont do anything like that. I wont have a place to go.(60) So, Candy just wants to be needed and to always have a place to work at and George and Lennie are his way to achieve that goal.
Crooks, the handicapped Negro stable buck, is a lonely man. Crooks was isolated from everyone else because of his color. Since he was a stable buck and a cripple, he was more permanent than the other men, and he had accumulated more possessions than he could carry on his back. On a Saturday night George left Lennie to go into town with the men and Lennie went to Crooks room. Lennie starts telling Crooks that he is going to get a farm with George. Lennie continues telling Crooks about the farm and Crooks replies by saying, your nuts!(74) Candy comes in and also talks about the farm and Crooks finally starts believing. Crooks eventually asks if he can help out in some way. Crooks is just a lonely black man that wants to have people around him.
Curlys wife is the ranch whore who attempts to use her physical features to get people to notice her. She makes use of her stunning body to gain the attention of the ranchers to soothe her loneliness. These acts give her a sense of relief and made her feel wanted so she can share her personal concerns and experiences. A man once told her he was gonna put me in movies. Says I was a natural.(88) Since her mother would not let her become an actress she met Curly and married him.
Curlys wife says I don’t like Curly. He ain’t a nice fella.(89) Curleys wife notices how simple-minded Lennie is and takes advantage of that situation. She knows that he would be the only one where she could discuss her problems that she deals with everyday. She has tried to talk to the other men on the ranch also hoping they will take her away from the ranch and Curly. She is just a young beautiful woman who has used her body in the past to try to get somewhere in her life. Being known for her reputation for being a flirt, none of the farmhands wants to talk to her, but no matter how hard she tries, she can never fit in.
George, Lennie, Crooks, Candy, and Curlys wife all feel in some way a type of alienation. They all strive to be on there own and do something more meaningful with their lives. Lennie kills Curlys wife and now she will not have to worry about being lonely ever again but her death carries burdens onto other people. Lennies child-like state of mind brings forth the downfalls of the dreams and aspirations of many others.