"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place... With us it ain’t like that. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us... We don’t have to sit in no bar room blowin’ in our jack jus’ because we got no place else to go... But not us."
This passage towards the end of chapter 1, George describes his and Lennie's friendship. The author idealizes male friendships, suggesting that they are the most dignified and satisfying way to overcome the loneliness that prevades the world.
"A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin’ books or thinkin’ or stuff like that... Maybe if he sees somethin’, he don’t know whether it’s right or not. He can’t turn to some other guy and ast him if he sees it too. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by. I seen things out here. I wasn’t drunk. I don’t know if I was asleep. If some guy was with me, he could tell me I was asleep, an’ then it would be all right. But I jus’ don’t know."
This is part of the speech that Crooks uses to show his loneliness. As a black man and physical handicap, Crooks is forced to live alone in his stable. He is not even allowed to enter the white men's bunk house, or join them for a game of cards. Through this passage he displays sad, touching vulnerability. Crooks's desire for a friend to "measure" things echoes Georges earlier description of the life of a migrant worker. These men feel so much loneliness.
"A water snake glided smoothly up the pool, twisting its periscope head from side to side; and it swam the length of the pool and came to the legs of a motionless heron that stood in the shallows. A silent head and beak lanced down and plucked it out by the head, and the beak swallowed the little snake while its tail waved frantically."
The rich imagery used at the beginning of chapter 6 evokes the novel's dominant themes. George and Lennie return to the clearing where the both of them start out; such a meeting place could only mean for separation or trouble. The reader's sense of return to a natural paradise (of comfort) is furthered by the knowledge that George and Lennie have claimed this place a safe haven.
The paradise however is lost. The snake is gliding softly and harmlessly through life, as is Lennie. When it is killed by the heron at the end. This emphasizes the predatory nature of the world and foreshadows Lennie's imminent death.