In the dictionary the word Isolation means to be separate or a part from others. I think if someone is isolated then it would be a negative aspect because they are alone and have nothing to do with anyone else. The reason for the various isolations in the two texts differs because of the different time periods they were set in. In the two books I am comparing is the “Withered Arm” by Thomas Hardy and “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. I feel that in both texts there are a few characters with their lives or they had illegitimate children. The text “Of mice and Men” was written in the 1930’s the time period of the depression.
In the most of John Steinbeck’s books he describes the life of people working on the land and that his characters are all often poor. This was because he wanted to show how real the life was during that time. Within his books men and women rarely understood each other because of the lack of communication. During the time when John Steinbeck wrote “Of Mice and Men” people would frown upon coloured people, the handicapped, the old and women. They also were prejudice about women. The text the “Withered Arm” was written in the late 19th century in England.
The book is set in a place called Wessex and the expectations at the time are different compared to the ones we have in today’s society. In that time social classes were expected to marry inside their class and not below that. Otherwise this would be considered a disgrace to the family of the higher class. Thomas Hardy introduces Rhode as his First character who is isolated. He establishes her isolation as her sitting on her away from the others “Where a thin fading women of thirty milked somewhat apart from the rest. ” The word fading and somewhat apart from the rest reveals that she was separated from the rest of the milkmaids.
Further on in the first chapter Hardy also establishes her loneliness by where she lives “… lay part from that of the others, to a lonely spot high above the water-meads… ” this also show her isolation. The characters who are lonely are Candy, Crooks and Curley’s wife in the text “Of Mice and Men. ” They are lonely because each one of them is different from everyone else. Such as Crooks is black, Candy is disabled and Curley’s wife is a women. The reason for them being lonely is because of the society’s attitude, which they lived in. The two characters that are not lonely are George and Lennie.
This is as they have each other for company whereas everybody does not. Lennie and George treat each other, as they were family because they have been together for a very long time. “Because I got you an’___ An’ I got you. We got each other, that’s what, that gives a hot in hell about us’. ” That quote indicates what Lennie say to George about them having each other to look after and keeping each other company. George needed Lennie because he wanted someone who would listen to him and not say anything. Lennie need George’s because he is not able to handle himself and also George promised Lennie’s aunt that he would look after him.
Thomas Hardy describes Rhodes Brooks house as it old and worn ” It was built of mud walls, the surface of which had been washed by many rains… left none of the original flat face visible… here and there in the thatch above a rafter showed like a bone protruding through the skin. ” This suggests that Rhode did not a great house and that it was old just like her. The quote also indicates that the house had been through some hard times. In the text “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck writes about one female character that is known as Curley’s wife. As the reader I feel sympathy for her, as she is the only woman on the ranch.
She is also isolated because her husband does not like her talking to any of the other workers, and also her own husband hardly speaks to her. The author has not given her a name because during that time period women were not as important as men, furthermore she is so isolated that the author decided on not given her a name. The effect this has on the reader is that she belongs to Curley unlike her being an individual person. So therefore the reader feels a little bit of sympathy for her. Thomas Hardy writes about a little boy in his book ” Withered Arm” who is also nameless like Curley’s Wife. In the book he is referred as Rhode’s son.
Rhode’s son is isolated because his mother had an affair with Farmer Lodge. The main reason that he is isolated is that his mother moved further away from the farm, so therefore he does not live close by to anybody. I feel that Rhode’s son is a victim of the circumstances between Farmer Lodge and Rhode because he was a product of their affair, and then Rhode moved away so she could be away from society. As a result Rhode’s son does not have friends. John Steinbeck writes about another isolated man named Crooks. The reason Crooks is so isolated is because during the time period everyone was prejudice against coloured people, and he was black.
Another reason he is isolated as that he isolates himself to have some respect in the white world. Crooks was born with a disability, therefore he feels that he need to isolate himself further. He makes friends with Candy and Lennie as they isolated on the farm. When Crooks first meets Candy and Lennie it says ” … he kept is his distance and demanded that other people keep theirs. ” This indicates that Crooks does not want anyone to be close to him. Though as the story goes on he makes friends with Candy and Lennie.
I feel sorry for Crooks for being coloured and handicapped as he is very friendly person. In both the texts that I read there are two more handicapped people, named Gertrude from the ” Withered Arm” and Candy from ” Of Mice and Men”. Candy is isolated as he is old and has only got one arm since it was cut off when he was working on the farm. Gertrude isolated because one night Rhode cast a spell on her arm. In both texts Gertrude and Candy are alike because of their arms. They are not as isolated as Crooks or Rhode, since they only have a small isolation problem, unlike the rest.
In the beginning of the text ” Withered Arm” Farmer Lodge is presented as being bold and proud. He is proud as he has a new wife Gertrude, who is a lot younger than him and plus she is very beautiful. Gertrude starts to get a problem in one of her arms, as time passes her arm gets worse, therefore Farmer Lodge feels as she is not as pretty as before. This makes Farmer Lodge change. He also feels depressed since his son is hung and this changes him. The reason for him to isolate himself is that all these problems are occurring around him and he feels that it is his fault.
So he moves away from his farm. In conclusion I consider that isolation is a negative aspect in someone’s life. I think that when people are isolated dreaming keeps them from getting trough. Like for instance Lennie and George’s dream to open up a farm or their own and Rhode’s dream to get back with Farmer Lodge. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.