December 13th 2010
Man Stands Alone
“We're born alone,we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.”- Orson Welles. John Steinbeck's book Of Mice and Men causes us to ask ourselves, is man destined to be alone? One of the greatest insecurities of humans throughout the generations has been “does anybody care?” Is there anyone who will stand and protect us in the face of danger? Would anyone shed a tear if we suddenly disappeared? Every now and then (and sometimes more often then that) it dawns on us that the world would still keep on turning if we did. One of the underlying themes in the book is that man is destined to be alone.
George and Lenny, two unlikely friends, have formed a rare bond. One which everyone assumes must have some underlying ulterior motives. There is constant talk between the two of the ranch will they will buy to be their home. They acknowledge, that for the most part, the men that work on ranches “are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong to no place... they ain't got nothing to look ahead to.” Nevertheless they knew that they were different. “ Because I got you to look after me and you got me to look after you, and that's why.” George and Lenny are forced to run from their previous job because Lenny as usual, did something “bad.” This time, he had been caressing a woman’s skirt. When she told him to stop and he just held on tighter, she screamed rape, forcing them to run for the hills.
Mr. Attell in his “overview of Of Mice and Men,” attributes Steinbeck's focus on “alienation” to Steinbeck's own life. Steinbeck looked around and see's very much what he describes in his book, happening in his community in California. The farm hands around town are lonely sorts, and are ignored and replaced easily with one another. When the reader is first introduced to George and Lenny, what is apparent immediately is their status...