Topic: Question 8

Loneliness and the need for companionship are revealed to bone serious problems for the ranch workers. As the various characters speak together, they admit to each other their fears about being alone in the world and what being alone does to human beings.

a. Explain what George means when he says that guys who are always alone "get mean" and they "get wanting' to fight all the time"? DO you think this is true? Explain. How much might this apply to Curley?

b. Crooks also believes that loneliness is bad for people. He tells Lennie, "A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody ... a guy gets too lonely and he gets sick." Compare the statements of George and Crooks. What does Crooks mean by "sick"? How much would this word apply to the workers we have met so far?

c. Provide evidence that Crooks is a very lonely man. Think about his conversation with Lennie, why he cruelly teases Lennie about George not returning, and why he can't stay with the other men in the bunkhouse. To what degree has racial prejudice contributed to his loneliness?

d. What other forms of prejudice have you noticed in these chapters(2-4)?