What does it mean to be a victim of loneliness? Merriam-Webster defines it as “being without company; cut off from others”. In the novel Of Mice and Men we see one character experiencing true loneliness, Curley’s wife. Set in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression, on a ranch in California, Of Mice and Men follows the journey of two men. When these two men, George and Lennie, come to work on the ranch, it sends the whole ranch in a new direction. Curley’s wife just hopes that she can find a companion, and who better than new people. But one thing always stands in her way, her loneliness.
Curley’s wife is a major victim of loneliness because of her failed dreams, her struggle to be someone’s friend, and her lack of love. Curley’s wife had a big dream all set up in her mind. The only problem is that it never happened. She came so close to coming to her dreams, but then it was all taken away. From a young age, Curley’s wife wanted to be a famous movie-star. She dreamed of being around all the big directors, and completely changing her life. She had met with a few directors and all said she had that “twinkle” in her eyes that would win a crowd.
She almost had the opportunity to go to Hollywood, she just had to wait for a letter. Unfortunately, that is all she did, wait, and wait, and wait. It never arrived. She went so far as to blame her mother saying she took the letter because she didn’t want her to fulfill her dreams. With all of this said and done, she left her hometown and found the Ranch. This failed dream of being a movie-star made Curley’s wife very depressed and lonely. She married Curley just because she wanted another person to fill the void of her lost dreams. The only problem is that she is very distant from her husband.
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It sent her deeper into loneliness. Curley’s wife comes off as a tramp and flirtatious to all the men on the ranch. They all tell George and Lennie to stay away from her, that she only causes trouble. But in reality, all she wants is a companion. When talking to Lennie, alone, in the barn on the ranch, Lennie repeats one sentence over and over to Curley’s wife. “‘George says I ain’t to have nothing to do with you--talk to you or nothing’” (Steinbeck 86). Everyone just seems to be shoving Curley’s wife away. All of these men keep portraying her as a troubled girl, and it makes her relationship with everyone difficult.
She just wants someone to be her friend, and without one, she is lonely. Ever since she left Salinas, Curley’s wife has always lacked love. She loved the director that came to visit her and told her he would write to her. But when she never got the letter, it was almost as if she gave up on love. She married Curley, but it wasn’t real love. She married him because she wanted another person in her life. She wanted to be part of something. But she is never with him, and she is never with anyone for that matter. Neither of them try to show love to each other. But Curley’s wife lacked the love she thought she deserved.
Katharine Gammon explains the psychology of loneliness and how a lack of love affects us,“The reasons trace back to humanity's evolutionary history, when people needed each other to stay alive. Loneliness doesn't just make people feel unhappy, it actually makes them feel unsafe — mentally and physically. ” Curley’s wife feels not only unhappy, but unsafe. People are portraying her as something she isn’t and she isn’t getting credit for the things she does have/do. They are just making her feel more lonely. Some may believe that Curley’s wife’s actions set her up for her troubles and even her death.
They may believe that she was just a tramp and troubled girl who had it coming to her. But while some may believe that, Curley’s wife was indeed a victim of loneliness because she believed in her dreams, and they were crushed. She wanted to be a person’s “someone” but she lacked all the love. She is in fact a true victim of loneliness. Steinbeck never gave Curley’s wife a name, and that shows her loneliness. She was in extreme loneliness because of her failed dreams, her struggle to be someone’s friend, and her lack of love. Loneliness is a real feeling, action, and emotion. Curley’s wife had it all.
I think Mother Teresa scored it right in the bag when she talked about loneliness. “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. ” Mother Teresa knew what poverty was, and according to this quote, Curley’s wife was in the most terrible poverty. Work Cited Gammon, Katharine. Why Loneliness Can Be Deadly. N. p. , 2 Mar. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Merriam-Webster. online ed. 2013. Merriam-Webster. Web. 27 Mar. 2013 Steinbeck, John. Of Mice And Men. New York, New York: Penguin Group, 1937. 86. Print. Quotes, Brainy. BrainyQuotes. N. p. , n. d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.
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