The characters that reflect the idea of the primary theme of the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck are Candy and Curley. The novel’s primary theme is described as the negative effects of loneliness and being an outcast in society.
The reason Candy fits into this category is because John Steinbeck describes him as a very lonely man and as being different or being an outcast to his fellow ranch hands. In the novel, Candy seemed to have a very good friendship with his dog, though his dog was one of his only friends at the time. The friendship between Candy and his dog was ruined when the other ranch hands shot his dog because they thought it was a nuisance and it had no point.
In the book, John Steinbeck gives you the impression that Candy is an all around good guy and can make friends easily. Steinbeck gives you this impression by the characteristics of Candy’s personality. Even though Candy seems like an easy to make friends with guy, inside he looks at himself as an outcast. He is different from the other ranch hands because he lost a hand and he is an old man, therefore ranch hands look at him as disabled. He feels he is not appreciated as a worker because of his disabilities that make him an outcast.
The part in the book that most describes Candy’s loneliness is when he meets George and Lennie. The reason it describes his loneliness is because it shows how much he wants friends, but sometimes he feels like he just doesn’t fit in because of his disability. He becomes friends with George and Lennie, but when his dog gets shot he looks to George and Lennie to somewhat replace the friendship he had with his dog. He shows this when he offers George and Lennie three hundred and fifty dollars if he could live on the farm with George and Lennie when they get it. Even though it was only a dream to George and Lennie, Candy was hoping to share the same dream as them because he felt more appreciated if he did. Candy says, “S’pose I went with you guys, tha’s three hundred and fifty bucks I’d put in”. This quote shows Candy’s desperation for friends after his dog was shot. He offered three hundred and fifty dollars to people he was not too familiar with because he needed a friend.
The other character that fits in to the category of loneliness and being an outcast is Curley. Curley seems lonely in the story because he is a tough guy. Steinbeck mentions how big and tough Curly thinks he is, but he never mentions of Curly getting along or making friends with the other ranch hands. This shows that he must have loneliness in his life because he doesn’t have many friends. He has a wife but he must not of did it out of love but just for the sake of having a wife.
Curley is an outcast in the novel because no one likes him, because he thinks he is such a big shot. He shows being a big shot when he beats up Lennie. Curley is having an argument with Slim, Carlson and Candy and Curley knows he is on the receiving end of the argument so he picks on Lennie. Lennie is smiling because he is thinking about the farm he hopes to get, and then Curley says, “What the hell you laughin’ at?” Lennie does not know what he is talking about and he is confused. Then all of sudden Curley starts attacking Lennie, but Curley learns his lesson when Lennie fights back and almost cripples him. This shows Curley’s characteristic of being an outcast in society. Another way he could be an outcast is the jealousy he has toward his wife. Curley is always worried about his wife being with the ranch hands, because he is afraid something might happen. This shows the other side of Curley’s personality. He is not always a tough guy; he has a sensitive side.