Contemporary Voice on Classic Ideals Writing Project
In the novel “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, comes a story set during the Great Depression, a story of struggle, hard work and determination to reach one’s goals and dreams. Not only does this story emphasize the endeavor in which one must face to reach their ultimate success, but it is also written around a theme of loneliness.
Despite fulfilling one’s desires and making dreams come true being one of the major themes in the novel, loneliness is also strikingly major in it as well. Due to loneliness being a common factor in terms of how teenagers may feel in today’s society, it is quite intriguing how one can use their dreams and lifelong goals to help them overcome and fill that void in which they may feel lonely. Furthermore, throughout this discussion, loneliness in teenagers in the world’s societies today will be elaborated on and compared to the theme of loneliness in Steinbeck’s novel. In Steinbeck’s novel, the theme of loneliness that the story is written around may be relative to the audience who read it seeing as loneliness is not quite a challenge to relate to, especially for teenagers in today’s society. This is because teenagers on a worldly scale are all known to still be discovering who they are as people of the future and individuals who must think for themselves, who all go through changes that they’re either afraid to speak up about, or would rather face alone due to fear of being judged or bullied. With the use of social media and the internet, it makes it difficult for teenagers to find themselves and be one with themselves due to the constant judging of others as well as being criticized continuously.
Seeing as this is a major occurrence in society, it makes it harder for teenagers to feel less lonely in a way that would make them feel comfortable in their own skin since bullying between teenagers is so common. Having said that, this relates to Steinbeck’s novel in that the migrant workers faced the reality of racism and took it on alone without having anyone to lean on, much like most teenagers in society today. Steinbeck also elaborates on how due to the constant criticism of the workers, it made it difficult for them to chase what is known as the American Dream. In terms of teenagers in society today and the constant fear of being judged and being referred to as an outcast, some can’t bare the thought of being along and lose that motivation to chase their dreams due to the constant judging of others and how society sets the bar for what is common and if anyone were to go against it, they’d be considered indifferent, categorizing them as one of their own kind. This makes it that much difficult for a teenager to be openly opinionated and comfortable in their skin because of the way society views anything and everything. An example of how the feel of loneliness from the novel relates to teenagers in society is the neglected feeling they may experience when looked at as indifferent by society’s standards.
Teenagers may feel this way if they aren’t as popular as fellow classmates due to them having a different opinion of things, or different interests making it difficult for them to fit in and harder to avoid being socially awkward. In society today, teenagers who think differently may feel rejected, causing them to make poor decisions that could lead to extreme measures and cause them to take their own lives out of the fear of feeling alone for the rest of their lives due to the constant criticism in which they were faced with on a daily basis. To this day, racism is still an issue and one could feel very unwanted and almost degraded due to other’s discrimination towards them based on something as irrelevant as the color of the other’s skin when deciding whether or not to become friends with the person. There are many possible reasons as to why one could feel alone, but working through it and finding something to fall back on and look forward to pursuing in the future to help keep one determined and full of life is the way to overcome and fill the void where loneliness may exist. With regards to this, “Of Mice and Men” is well structured in that it takes the idea of loneliness and turns it into a positive thought in that working alone and trying to discover happiness and freedom is one’s own journey that they can only go out and experience on their own in search of their own independence and self, regardless of who does and does not agree or accept it. Another example that emphasizes the strive and pursuance of discovering one’s own independence and self is the story of the Native Americans who set off to search for new land for themselves to quickly become an independent nation.
It took one’s idea to have the strength to set off and use their own natural resources and create jobs that would make them come together as a whole, despite the beliefs of what others thought of. This made them independent and respected by other nations and tribes and were not entirely neglected from society as they still had some beliefs that were similar. This is a great example of how teenager should overcome and fill the void created by loneliness by believing in something and having a vision and still standing behind it, even if it meant standing alone. This is the sort of thing that could possibly help a teenager overcome feeling lonely, by focusing on their dreams, goals, and aspirations, and focusing on becoming their own person, regardless of what society says or rules. This also relates to the theme in the novel where Steinbeck takes George and Lenny, two completely different characters and personalities, yet have the same goal.
In terms of teamwork between teenagers, two people who may be completely different, yet who have the same goal could work together to achieve it, much like the Native Americans did. With sticking together and reaching for those goals and making dreams come true, they formed a nation of people who all had the same beliefs, which helped them fill the void of being discriminated and downgraded only based on where society classified them. They went against other people’s beliefs creating their own, and with that, Native Indians will always be respected due to their determination and independence. In conclusion, loneliness in teenagers in the world today is very much similar to that in the novel “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, simply because everyone may feel lonely, despite how many people surround them. The attention given and their aura’s may not always be welcoming and positive, making it easy for one to feel lonely based on self esteem issues or fear of becoming one with one’s self.
By overcoming and believing in oneself, one can use their dreams, goals, ambitions, and aspirations to fill the void which loneliness may create, and by taking a risk and going against what the average person may believe due to the bar that society sets, one can become independent and very well respected.