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Of Mice And Men Curley's Wife

1158 words - 5 pages

Of Mice And Men - Curley's Wife

“I never seen no piece of jail-bait worse than her” (George) what is the reader supposed to think about Curley’s wife?

In the Steinbeck novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, he introduces us to the character of Curley’s wife. She could be interpreted as a mis-fitting character in the novel, as no one relaters to her. This essay will go on to examine the character of Curley’s wife and how characters perceive her and how this influences the readers interpretation of her.

The social setting of the novel is also important, as it could later explain characters attitudes towards other people. It is set in the U.S. in the 1930s; this is the time of the Great Depression. This was a result of the First World War. It affected the rich and poor alike, factory workers and farmers, bankers and stockbrokers. In short, it affected everyone; no one was left untouched. But of all the people hurt, farmers were the worst off. John Steinbeck chose to write about farmers hoping that Americans would recognize their troubles and correct the situation. The great depression is known to be the worst economic disaster in the U.S history. For this reason the depression caused many people to change their ideas about the government and economy.

Curley’s wife is probably the most loathed on the ranch. The way she looks and acts leads other characters in the novel to see her as a “tart”. George makes his opinions clear just after he first met her “Jesus, what a tramp”, and “So that’s what Curley picks for a wife”. She just wants some one to talk to. Males on the ranch don’t like her because they think she will get them into trouble. They make judgments without getting to know her first. They judge a book by its cover. Curley, her husband doesn’t trust her with the other ranch hands. She was just out of place on the ranch, and because of that, must have been a really lonely person with lonely feelings.

Curley’s wife is given a reputation of causing trouble between other characters from different characters in the novel. There is no evidence of her living up to all of the reputation in the novel. Candy says “Well she got the eye” which could have many meanings and then he backs that up with “I seen her give Slim the eye” and finally he says “Well I think Curley’s married…a tart.” This explains his views on Curley’s wife. And when she dies he calls her a “tramp” and Candy blames her for ruining his dream of living with George and Lennie.

There are no other females on the Ranch that we know about. Half of the men rarely see females and the ones they see are when they go into town to a “whore-house”. This shows the men’s stereotypical view on women as that of a “whore”. Curley’s wife says “I never get to talk to anyone. I get awful lonely”. This shows that being the only apparent female leaves her with a lack of companionship, especially with the other characters attitudes towards her. But when Lennie hears that he takes no notice of it....

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