Each desires the comfort of a friend, but will settle for the attentive ear of a stranger.
Curley’s wife admits to Candy, Crooks, and Lennie that she is unhappily married, and Crooks tells Lennie that life is no good without a companion to turn to in times of confusion and need.
The itinerant farm worker of the Great Depression found it nearly impossible to establish a fixed home.
These men were forced to wander from ranch to ranch seeking temporary employment, to live in bunk houses with strangers, and to suffer the abuses of arbitrary bosses. Of course, as George's monologue puts it, "With [George and Lennie] it ain't like that." He and Lennie have found companionship; they watch out for one another.
By the time Lennie finds himself back beside the pool, not even the Eden-like qualities of the setting can prevent his death.
In many ways, from the outspoken to the subtle (such as Steinbeck's decision to set the novel near Soledad, California, a town name that means "solitude" in Spanish), the presence of loneliness defines the actions of the diverse characters in the book.Of Mice and Men teaches a grim lesson about the nature of human existence.Nearly all of the characters, including George, Lennie, Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife, admit, at one time or another, to having a profound sense of loneliness and isolation.The men in Of Mice and Men desire to come together in a way that would allow them to be like brothers to one another.That is, they want to live with one another’s best interests in mind, to protect each other, and to know that there is someone in the world dedicated to protecting them.Curley’s wife, for instance, has resigned herself to an unfulfilling marriage.What makes all of these dreams typically American is that the dreamers wish for untarnished happiness, for the freedom to follow their own desires.Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’.” George and Lennie’s dream is of a place where “nobody gonna hurt nobody nor steal from ’em.” These paradises—real and imaginary—are contrasted with the ranch, which is owned by Curley’s father and is a place of fear and isolation, a place where the workers get hurt and robbed.This contrast indicates that land-ownership is like Satan’s treachery in the biblical story: it is the act which destroys innocence and paradise.Lennie and George, who come closest to achieving this ideal of brotherhood, are forced to separate tragically.With this, a rare friendship vanishes, but the rest of the world—represented by Curley and Carlson, who watch George stumble away with grief from his friend’s dead body—fails to acknowledge or appreciate it.