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Curley's Wife Initiates Her Own Tragic Death In Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1113 words - 4 pages

Curley’s wife is a young, pretty woman, who is mistrusted by her husband. The other characters refer to her only as “Curley’s wife”. This lack of definition underscores this character’s purpose in the story. Her character is unnamed in the book. She is a very flirtatious and provocative lady.
She is not allowed to be in the ranch workers’ bunk house and is also not supposed to talk to the ranch hands. She is practically owned by her husband, Curley. None of the workers pay attention to her because they know it will get them into trouble. Curley is very jealous and protective towards his wife. The ranch workers look at her as a ‘tart’ because she flirts with everyone. Curley’s wife is very lonely, she is the only women amongst all the men on the ranch. Steinbeck explains that she is not a person, she is just a symbol. She has no function, except to be a foil – and a danger to Lennie. She dreamed of becoming a famous movie star, but all her dreams crashed when she married Curley. Instead of following her dreams she had to settle for a lonely life on the ranch.
Curley’s wife is called different names such as ‘loo loo’ (page 56) by the other men. She is a pretty women but most of the men think she is troublesome and bold. She is often sad and frustrated that her life did not turn out any better, since in her youth a man offered to put her in the movies. Curley’s wife knew what Lennie was capable of because Lennie crushed Curley’s hand, when Curley picked a fight with Lennie. Curley’s wife knew that Lennie was mentally retarded, and that he was really strong. She still seeked attention from him. Curley’s wife entered the barn knowing that Lennie was alone...When she entered the barn, she saw Lennie petting his dead “pup”. Curley's wife tries repeatedly to assure Lennie that it is okay for him to talk to her. Like most of the characters in the book, she also feels a need for companionship. Her self-centered and aggressive husband does not fill this need. Curley’s wife tells Lennie how lonely she is.
The only thing Lennie ever cares about is to tender some rabbits. George makes Lennie believe that they going to get their own little farm. Lennie is mildly retarded, and his speech is slow and simple. He loves soft things, like the “pup” that he pet to death. This is the case when Lennie kills Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife has a dream that although different in detail from other’s dreams, is still very similar in its general desires. She wants companionship so much that she will try to talk to people who do not want to talk to her, like all the men on the ranch.
Curley is a small , belligerent man who especially dislikes guys like Lennie. Curley is the only married...

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