January 30

We are lonesome animals.


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Posted January 30, 2019 by equinson in category Of Mice and Men

29 thoughts on “We are lonesome animals.

  1. Myles Ng

    This quote strikes me as something relating to the stable keep, Crooks. He shuns people, but deep down like all humans, he just wants to fit in. With Lennie he was reluctant at first and continually tells him to leave and that others don’t want him so you shouldn’t either, but eventually he accepts and Lennie and Crooks start talking. If this this quote is true about Crooks, he must be dying inside considering he is constantly shunned and and outcast among the other workers.

    “Crooks said gently, ‘Maybe you can see now. You got George. You know he’s goin’ to come back. S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk house and play rummy ‘cause you was black. How’d you like that? S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody—to be near him.’ He whined, ‘A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya,’ he cried, ‘I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick.’”

    This quote from Crooks proves that he needs human contact, people need other people to talk to, to interact with. Without that we would go crazy

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I agree Crooks is a very good example of someone who is lonely in the novella. All he wants is to be around people.

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      1. Zoe

        Crooks is definitely lonely and I think he escaped the loneliness by telling his story. Although this is true, he definitely is incredibly lonely and it affects him, especially when he tells Candy to forget his idea of ever working on their land.

        Reply
  2. jane

    I think that in this quotation, John Steinbeck is trying to explain that humans want to feel accepted. In many scenes throughout the book, the readers can see characters seeking acceptance from the people around them. But this quote makes me think particularly of Curley’s wife. In the fifth chapter, she explains to Lennie that she doesn’t like Curley because he is mean, and that she only married him to get back at her mother. She eventually lets Lennie touch her hair, and he accidentally kills her. Part of me blames Curley’s wife for her death, since she should have known that Lennie was very strong and shouldn’t touch her hair. But the other part of me sympathizes for her, because she was very lonely, and desperate for company. She was probably always trying to talk to the guys because there was no one else around for her to talk to. Through her, I really think John Steinbeck’s quote is relevant. Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife as an example of how everyone seeks acceptance.

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    1. Mikayla Friedman

      Yes, I do agree that many characters seek acceptance from others in the novella, especially George. All George wants to do is fit in with the rest of the guys on the ranch and Lennie is the only person who gets in the way.

      Reply
    2. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that part of the blame does have to be directed towards Curley’s wife for her own death. She never had to walk into that barn and talk to Lennie in the first place. If she never walked in this huge mess could’ve been prevented and everyone could’ve lived happily at the ranch. However, I can understand that all things happen for a reason, and if this event didn’t occur the whole story would have a completely different outcome.

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  3. Mikayla Friedman

    I agree with this quote by Steinbeck. I think it applies to life in general and to the novella Of Mice and Men. It is true that the human nature is to reject being alone. Humans and mammals in general find comfort in a pack, which is why the middle school cafeteria is filled with groups of friends, and why certain animals travel in packs. In this quote, Steinbeck is very clearly saying that humans spend their lives trying to achieve a state where they are not lonely. The second part of this quote means that when we tell stories, we want our listeners to sympathize with us. We want them to make comments like “I understand what you’re going through” or “I get that, I was once in the same situation.”

    Steinbeck’s quote applies to his novella, Of Mice and Men. A lot of characters in this novella are lonely, such as Lennie and Crooks, but I think Curley’s wife is undoubtedly alone in this world. She despises her husband and lives on a ranch without a single woman besides herself. Her husband doesn’t even trust her, and she spends most of her time in her house. Curley’s wife confides in Lennie:
    “She knelt in the hay beside him. ‘Listen,’ she said. ‘All the guys got a horseshoe tenement goin’ on. It’s on’y about four o’clock. None of them guys is goin’ to leave that tenement. Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to anybody. I get awful lonely.'” (p. 86) In this quote, Curley’s wife could just be trying to get Lennie to talk to her, but I think she is being trueful about the way she feels. After marrying Curley, she has spent her time on the ranch trying to seek out people who will make her less lonely, like Slim and Lennie, but ultimately she is still lonesome.

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  4. Emma Garbowitz

    People around the world all feel alone at one point or another. We find comfort in being with other people or for animals being with other animals. We want people to understand what we are going through to be able to truly feel for our problems and have empathy for each other. Throughout this quote the example given is loneliness and throughout the novella of Of Mice and Men loneliness is a theme supported many times by a number of people. By the end of the novella Lennie is lonely in his own way. Lennie had a visit from his conscience telling him that George cannot be trusted fully and that he will be left alone. The text states, “You ain’t worth a greased jack-pin to ram you into hell. Christ knows George done ever’thing he could to jack you outa the sewer, but it don’t do no good. If you think George gonna let you tend rabbits, you’re even crazier’n usual. He ain’t. He’s gonna beat hell outa you with a stick, that’s what he’s gonna do.”Without even truly knowing it yet, Lennie was alone in this world and had nobody looking out for him. George turned on him because he knows Lennie is a danger to society and cannot be trusted. Their relationship was one way. Lennie put all of his faith and trust in George but George no longer had any trust and faith in Lennie. At this point, Lennie had nobody to go to for help. He was alone and had nobody there for him in a time of great need.
    Another thing I noticed about George and Lennie is that throughout the last few chapter of the novella, the pair drifted away from each other. George seemed more attracted to the workers such as Slim rather than Lennie. George left Lennie in the dust and without anybody over seeing his actions, Lennie committed a horrific crime without knowing the consequences. At this point Lennie had nothing and nobody to go to, not even George, his best buddy in the whole wide world turned on him. Lennie was officially alone and had nobody left in his life.

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    1. Kate

      I like how you explained how Lennie was lonely at the end. I haven’t thought of that and it’s very interesting.

      Reply
  5. MadiR

    I think in this quotation Steinbeck means that it is human nature to want to be around people. He is also trying to explain that we spend our whole lives being lonely and try to find things in common with others. This quote relates to Of Mice and Men because in this novella the characters are very lonely. Two characters that express their loneliness in the book are Crooks and Curley’s wife. Crooks is not able to do anything with the white men and he lives by himself. When Lennie stops by to talk he is secretly happy to have the company. Curley’s wife’s lonely, also. First of all she is the only woman on the ranch. She complains to Lennie repeatedly of how she has no one to talk to. John Steinbeck also uses dogs as a symbol. He portraits one of the main characters, Lennie, as a dog. In the beginning of the novella Lennie’s hands are described as large paws. When Lennie is having the conversation with Crooks. Crooks says that if George were to die Lennie would be put in a leash like a dog. At the end of the book Lennie is killed in the same way as Candy’s dog. To conclude Steinbeck’s quote is exemplified in his novella.

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    1. trinityt

      I agreed. The reason why Curley’s wife and Crooks is lonely is because they’re like the outcast on the ranch; not part of the pack. In addition, since they aren’t like the rest on the ranch, Curley’s wife is the only woman on the ranch and Crooks is the only African American on the ranch, they tend to be lonely because they’re different. This is like the stereotype that everyone must be the same in order to fit in, which isn’t true. So yes, I agreed with you that the quote is exemplified in the novella, Of Mice and Men.

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  6. Zoe

    This quote definitely relates to Of Mice And Men in a lot of scenes. The quote explains how humans are alike to animals and just like animals, we need to be with someone in order to live; be a part of the pack. The quote also explains how in order to make yourself feel as though you’re not as lonely as you feel you can tell a story and let others listen. Although this really relates to George and Lennie sharing their dreams it more clearly resembles the scene in Crooks’ room with Lennie and Candy. While Crooks talked to Lennie and Candy he talked about being lonely as soon as the horseshoe tournament was over and going to his room, alone, reading books for entertainment, and being the only colored man on the farm. As he continued in with his story Lennie offered to leave several times but Crooks would always tell him he could come in a little further because why not and gave him a seat and allowed him to look into his life. This is what the quote is meaning by sharing stories to make yourself feel less lonely. Although there was clearly a barrier between Lennie and Crooks because of their different races, Crooks still saw that Lennie would listen and he wanted to share his story, which he eventually did. This quote relates to many scenes in Of Mice And Men and can be seen possibly as a theme or motif in this story.

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  7. Kate

    This quote from Steinback is very interesting. My first thought was how this relates to Crooks, but now I’m thinking of George and Lennie. I’ve always wandered the reason they stay together and travel everywhere together and now I think the reason could be that they don’t want to feel lonely. Other than the obvious reason of Lennie’s mental state being the reason George sticks with him but I think the deeper reason could be the theme of loneliness. Steinback portrays this theme in many instances including Crooks, Curelys wife, Lennie and George. All of these characters admit at one time in the novel a sense of loneliness. Of Mice and Men teaches the lesson of nature of human existence, being loneliness. At the end of Steinback’s quote he says, “One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — “Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.” After reading this part it’s clear to me that one of Steinbacks main themes is loneliness and that’s what he’s trying to portray; making the readers relate to loneliness. This quote goes along with the main themes of, Of Mice and Men.

    Reply
    1. josepha4

      Yeah I think the main factor in why George took on Lennie is to have a companion and not because he feels sorry for him.

      Reply
  8. trinityt

    The quote is explaining how humans are lonely, and how we need to be with others in order to live. It’s like being part of the pack. This quote relates to many scenes in the novel, Of Mice and Men.

    In the novel, there are two characters that are lonely. Curley’s wife, and Crooks. For Curley’s wife, she was the only woman on the ranch. She didn’t really like her husband, Curley. In addition, she was always kept inside the house because of her husband, but she always went out. As for Crooks, he is like an outcast on the ranch since he’s the only African American there. He have to stay in a separate and different bunkhouse all by himself, and he couldn’t join the other guys playing horseshoes. All of this is because Crooks is black. The only thing that keep him company was books, until Lennie came into his room. When Lennie went into his room, Crooks was acting like he’s angry and hates the idea of Lennie being in there. However, Crooks was actually happy on the inside because he got someone to talk to and keep him company besides books.
    Overall, the quote definitely exemplified Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men.

    Reply
  9. stephaniec

    This quote by Steinback says that like animals, people need to be surrounded by other people. This theme seems to be present in real life and in the novella. Although most characters at some point in the novella feel a sense of loneliness, it is most especially present in Curley’s wife, Crooks, and Candy. Curley’s wife being the only woman on the ranch, Crooks being the only black man on the ranch, and Candy being older than the other men, set them apart from the rest. However, within their “group” of outcasts, the way they handled being lonely set them apart from each other. Curley’s wife begged for attention in the only way she knew how, by attempting to attract men. Crooks coped with being lonely by keeping to himself and by pretending he wasn’t lonely. Finally, Candy handled it by keeping a close friend with him, his dog. So even though all three of them were lonely, they coped with it in different ways making them even more different and separate from each other.

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  10. josepha4

    This quotes focuses on the point that all humans get lonely and everyone needs company. In my opinion the characters who seems to be the loneliest are George and Lennie and Curley’s wife. I believe the only reason that George and Lennie had traveled together was to be companions. Everyone needs a person there to motivate them towards their goals, George was motivated by Lennie to make enough money to own a farm and obtain animals. The relationship worked both ways so while Lennie was helping George, George was helping Lennie with everyday things and also working hard to make a satistfying living. Lastly, Curley’s wife was the loneliest of them all. She just wanted someone to talk to. She had no companion. The way that she expected attention was wrong but it strongly proves that everyone needs attention sometimes.

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  11. jaclynl

    This quote is something that is very deep and relatable to almost everyone. No one wants to be alone, and most people look their whole lives to find the right people to surround themselves with. When being by ourselves too long, many tend to feel sad and need someone else to be with them.

    This idea can apply to almost all of the characters in this novel, and there are a few that I especially noticed. The first character that crossed my mind was Crooks, since he spends almost all of his time hidden away in a room by himself. We can easily tell that he’s miserable by the way he speaks to Lennie, expressing that everyone needs another person. He does everything alone, which tears him apart. We all need socialization in our lives and a set of ears to listen.

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  12. maxwellw

    I think this quotation best fits the character Crooks in Of Mice and Men. Racial prejudice and it’s it affects on those subjugated can be seen through Crooks. Lennie’s brief interaction with Crooks reveals the complexity of racial prejudice in the northern California ranch life. Though Crooks was born in California (not like many Southern blacks who had migrated, he implies), he is still always made to feel like an outsider, even in his home state. Crooks is painfully aware that his skin color is all that keeps him separate in this culture. This outsider status causes him to lament his loneliness, but he also delights in seeing the loneliness of others, perhaps because misery loves company. When Crooks begins to pick on Lennie, suggesting George won’t come home, we discover the slight mean streak that undoubtedly develops after being alone for so long. Lennie unwittingly soothes Crooks into feeling at ease, and Candy even gets the man excited about the dream farm, to the point where Crooks could fancy himself worthy and equal enough to be in on the plan with the guys.

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  13. Hannah Pitkofsky

    This quote relates to Crooks, an African-American worker on the ranch in OMM. He attempts to show Lennie his perspective on his life and his childhood. Even though Lennie himself didn’t care too much about his story, it shows the reader the importance of understanding another person’s perspective and I think that is what Steinbeck is trying to convey in this quote when he says, “We are lonesome animals. We spend all our life trying to be less lonesome.” Crooks had always been told not to play with the white kids and that ended up leaving him lonely as an adult because of how he was taught during his childhood.

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  14. Casey Zuckerman

    I think this quote means that people need other people to live. For example, when Crooks finds Lennie in his home, he immediately tells him to get out. He acts mad but is actually happy to see someone else and talk to them. Another example is when Curley’s wife goes to Lennie when he kills the puppy. She was desperate and needed to talk to someone. Her own loneliness drove her to go to an unsafe place we’re she was killed by Lennie.

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  15. Sunna

    This quote reminds me of George. He spends all of his time looking after Lennie. They may be like brothers, but the overwhelming responsibility must feel rather lonely for George. He is always under pressure to keep both of them safe, and has to make hard decisions, such as shooting Lennie. I can’t even begin to imagine how guilty and lonely George would feel for the rest of his life after he killed Lennie. Even if it was difficult, Lennie was the most precious thing in the world to him, no matter how lonely taking care of him made George feel.

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  16. johnh1

    This quote causes me to think of a particular scene. The scene is the one where Crooks, Lennie, Candy, and Curley’s Wife are all in the Crooks’ cabin talking. It reminds me because all of these characters reflect this quote. For example, Crooks is the only Black man on the farm. He also relates to the part of the quote where Steinbeck talks about telling others stories so that you won’t be lonely. He talks about his life and his loneliness to Lennie and can’t not show he is happy when more people come in. Curley’s wife is similar to this in a way. She is the only woman at the farm. She actually says to the others in that scene before she acts rudely: “’Well, I ain’t giving you no trouble. Think I don’t like to talk to somebody
    ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?’” She doesn’t get to talk or be with anyone but Curley who is an angry, rude, mess of a person. The quote also can refer to Lennie and Candy. Candy is old and a little seperate from the others and Lennie is completely different than anybody at the farm or any place he has ever been. He tries to make friends though and talk to people. Curley’s wife sums all these characters up when she says “’They left all the weak ones here,’”.

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  17. angelicac1

    This quote is about companionship. In the novella Of Mice and Men, Lennie surrounds himself with George, a friend that is close to him on so many levels. When Steinbeck says “One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — ‘Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought,’” he describes what Lennie did to make himself feel less alone. Lennie always asked George to recite the story of their future that was about them being successful and achieving goals. Hearing George’s words makes Lennie think “Yes, that’s the way it is,” even though it most likely isn’t that way. Having George as a companion gives Lennie reassurance, which is exactly what John Steinbeck is saying in this quote.

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  18. Emily

    I think that this quote is showing how people want to feel accepted, but most do not. Steinbeck is showing how most people feel as if they are alone, and they try to change this flaw by sharing their grief with others. In the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck this is an important idea for many of the characters but one in particular, Crooks. In one instance Crooks is talking to Lennie and he says,

    “S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunk house and play rummy… S’pose you had to sit out here an’ read books. Sure you could play horseshoes till it got dark, but then you got to read books. Books ain’t no good. A guy needs somebody—to be near him.” He whined, “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you.”

    Crooks is only human. He wants is to go outside and hang out with the other farm workers. In reality, all he is asking for is to be accepted in society as a normal human being. This does not seem like to much to ask, but on this farm, and in all of the world at the time, he is treated subhuman. No one respects him enough to even talk to him.

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  19. Laila

    This quote relates a lot to many of the characters in Of Mice and Men, especially Lennie. Out of all of the characters in the novella, Lennie fits in the least. He doesn’t seem to have a voice of his own. He is different. According to the quote, the cure to loneliness and emptiness is story telling and sharing with others. Whenever Lennie was sad, he would always ask George to tell the story of how they’d live on their very own farm one day. It gave him hope and allowed him to escape reality, even for just a minute. He felt comfort from George’s words, no matter how many times he had already heard the same exact story. Lennie didn’t feel alone anymore because he trusted George and was filled with false hope. Either way, George’s words and story continued to affect Lennie throughout the book.

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  20. Sophie

    This quote is very true to most living things. Humans and animals are always looking to have a purpose in society, whether its being a leader or a follower or somewhere in between. For most people they want to feel accepted and purposeful around their friends. Take Curley’s wife for example. Curley’s wife was the only woman on the whole farm. She was forced into a marriage that she didn’t want, constantly dreams of this opportunity about show business that she thinks she has lost. Curley’s wife was very desperate for love and friendship. At the end of the novella, she went over and spoke with Lennie in a dangerous way. After learning about his desire for soft things, she asked him to stroke her long hair. This was not a good idea because she well knows how Lennie has killed multiple animals and hurt many people by his inability to control his strength. Obviously she ended up getting killed by him, but her intentions were to only make a friend and feel less lonesome.

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  21. Brishti

    This quote can be related to most humans. As people, we spend our lives wanting to be accepted by others. We need to have a place in society where we feel wanted by everyone else. One of the main things that humans need is a sense of purpose. This idea can easily be seen in the character of Crooks. In the novel, he has a small but significant role. While George and the others are out in town, Lennie comes to his room and they talk. Later, Candy joins them and then Curley’s wife. Crooks tells Lennie about his childhood expiriences and the fact that he can’t go with the other men into town just because he is black. Lennie, being mentally disabled, doesn’t really understand and continues to marvel over getting to tend the rabbits in his dream. Crooks is a very lonely person, and this lonliness has caused him to become a bit hostile, as we can see when he tricks Lennie into thinking that George is not coming back. All of the people who show up are misfits and outcasts. Crooks is black, Lennie is mentally disabled, Candy is missing a hand, and Curley’s wife is a woman. Crooks, Candy, and Curley’s wife are all aware that they are outcasts, and they are somewhat miserable because of it. Their self-awareness made them more lonely because of the thought that they would always be judged. Candy jumped quickley on the idea that he will live with George and Lennie because he knew that they would want him there, not because they will just keep him around. Crooks attempted to cover up his gratitude of getting visitors with anger, when he was secretly glas they had come. Curley’s wife just wanted to talk with Lennie about her life and hope that he will agree with her. And Lennie just doesn’t understand that there is a problem with him. Most of the time, he has good intentions, and is only looking to gain a friend. These characters might not realize it, but they have a lot in common regarding the way they are viewed by the ranch, which is a symbol for society. They all have the thirst for company, and they all need someone who will make them feel less lonesome. They need someone to agree with them, who has shared life expiriences that make them feel empathy for one another.

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