George is a typical an itinerant farm worker, travelling with Lennie Smalls, but acts more as a guardian and has authority over Lennie e.g. 'You keep away from Curley, Lennie'
George is hygienic and likes to maintain cleanliness e.g 'What the hell kinda bed you giving us anyways. We dont want no pants rabbits'
Part of George longs for a life without Lennie ('God a'mighty, if i was alone i could live so easy.' and without having to constantly look out for him, although Lennie prevents George from becoming another lonely ranch worker, Lennie gives George comfort and a purpose 'they aint no good. They don't have no fun. After a long time they get mean.'
George is intelligent, this shows how intelligence isn't valued within this time period (1930's). If intelligence was valued then George and Crooks with both be very rich men. It highlights the injustice within the lives of the 1930's people.
George kills Lennie in order to save him from distress, pain and confusion, George knows that if Lennie stays alive then he will be frightened and lynched or even locked up for the rest of his life, therefore shooting Lennie saves him. Lennies last memories are of the dream- when Lennie does, so does the dream.
Though George comes across as a strong character, his 'restless eyes' and 'sharp, strong features' suggests lonliness and distress within his life.
George holds the 'american dream' and shares it with Lennie, firstly it is hope for him and comfort for Lennie, but Candy joining gives it more likelihood, once Lennie dies, there is no dream. George becomes another lonely worker.
George fears loneliness because he sees how other the ranch men live, he sees Lennie as a source of comfort and Lennies dependance gives him a purpose 'We kinda look after each other'
George is a responsible person, he brought Lennie to the farm therefore he takes the responsibility of the killing Lennie as he's aware of the punishments- Slim understands why George had to kill Lennie 'You hadda george, i swear hadda'
Loneliness is a strong theme throughout the novel.
The majority of ranch workers travelled alone. Lennie and George are considered the exception because they travel together and possess a rare friendship. Ranch men use the comfort of female prostitutes as shown in the section where all the ranch men go to town on the Saturday night.
Loneliness is emphasised on Candy, Crooks, Lennie and Curley's wife during this time due to those being left behind. Disabilities, being black or female during this period mean that these characters are excluded because of this.
Curley's wife uses her dream to escape her reality and lonely life from her loveless marriage. She insists that a man was going to 'put me in the movies' and becomes slightly delusional with the idea. She feeds off the attention from the other ranch men to help her avoid complete isolation. Being a woman within the 1930's she was given little independence or purpose, and her being referred to as 'Curley's wife' rather than having an actual name shows how she is considered more of a possession rather than a person.
Crooks is a strong representation of racial prejudice during the 1930's black segregation, we are aware of his loneliness by the fact he lives in a separate house from the others, has lots of books and rarely is able to talk or interact with others. Crooks life is dominated by a double barrel pain- having a disability and being black. He is isolated and becomes cynical and nasty because of this. He 'demands' people keep their distance as he keeps his, and pulls out of the dream once Curleys wife makes him aware of his worth. His moment’s long dream is shattered and shows the lack of power black people within the 1930's possessed.
Candy is shown to depend on his dog for a purpose, it avoids the inevitable- loneliness. Candy gives into Carlsons' bullying and allows him to shoot the dog, this makes Candy feel weak and takes away the one thing he possessed- a meaning. Candy is old and has a disability making him isolated and lonely, he is excludedfrom the other men's society although not to the degree Crooks is. The 'american dream' gives Candy back his purpose and makes him feel worthwhile again, but Curley's wife automatically crushes him.