Loneliness and Isolation
Steinbeck himself gives us a huge hint to the theme of Loneliness, by calling the nearby town 'Soledad'. This means 'Loneliness' In Spanish!
- Slim says ranch workers "get so they don't want to talk to nobody"
- George says ranch guys "are the loneliest in the world"
- Crooks says "A guy needs somebody- To be near him"
- And he also says "A guy goes if he ain't got nobody"
Basically everyone on the ranch is lonely
- All the bunkhouse men are single - they are pretty likely to be lonely
- They're like orphans. George says "They've got no family."
- George plays solitaire- A game for one.
- Lennie and George look after each other, but George still feels lonely.
- It is like an unequal marriage. George has all the responsiblity.