Curlys Wife And Lennie Essay

Essay about Curley’s wife

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Essay about Curley’s wife

Curley’s wife is the only female character in the novel Of Mice of
Men; Curley’s wife is never given a name and is only referred to in reference to her husband. Like the other people on the ranch, she is very lonely and has dreams of a better life which never come true.

The author John Steinbeck introduces Curley’s wife in a symbolic ness way, this is shown when George is talking to Lennie about the dream and when Curley’s wife first meets both the men. “Both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. A girl was standing there looking in.” The symbolic ness of the word sunshine is hope, freedom, happiness and dreams. This foreshadows that she may cause trouble or come…show more content…

Curley’s wife acts very provocative, playful, childish and flirtatious, this is because she is very lonely and has no power at all. Nobody knows the real person she is because no one ever dares to get in trouble with her. Curley’s wife is often presented negatively by Steinbeck such as when she is cruel to crooks after his hopes have been raised by the dream. This is easily shown when Curley’s wife snaps at Crooks. “keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on the tree so easy.” Curley’s wife is being racist because she is so angry and so lonely. She is powerless on the ranch and the only person she has power is on Crooks who is black. She is basically just exercising her power on him because she can get him lynched on a tree.
She uses the word Nigger which shows that she is racist. This shows that the society in the 1930s was racist.

Curley’s relationship with his wife seems as if they don’t even like each other. This is shown when Curley’s wife says “I don’t’ like
Curley, he ain’t a nice fella.” Curley’s wife is also scared of Curley due to his fearsome power and a brutish man. She only married Curley because she wanted to get away from her Mother. The only reason she wanted to leave her Mother was because she thought her Mother was

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Curley's wife

Character Analysis

Curley's wife has a lot of names, but we can't repeat any of them in mixed company. Let's just call her trouble: she's a good-looking woman who knows it, wearing makeup, form-fitting dresses, and ostrich-feathered high heels. (Which—let's just say it—maybe a tad impractical for a ranch?) She's basically like the Pioneer Woman, only less tech-savvy.

Poor Little Not-So-Rich Girl

But we're tender-hearted here at Shmoop headquarters, and we can't help feeling a wee bit bad for this poor girl. As the only woman on the ranch, her life is lonely, and Curley isn't much company: he'd rather talk about himself than anything else. Not that she's out to make friends, or anything. When she wanders across some of the men, she says "what am I doin'? Standin' here talkin' to a bunch of bindle stiffs—a nigger an' a dum-dum and a lousy ol' sheep—an' likin' it because they ain't nobody else" (4.103).

Way to make friends and influence people, Curley's wife.

She also talks a lot (well, twice) about how she could "of went with shows. Not jus' one, either. An' a guy tol' me he could put me in pitchers" (4.102). Was she really on the road to Hollywood glory? Well, probably not. The point is that, just like all these ranchhands with their dreams of owning their own farm, Curley's wife has—or had—a dream. And, like them, she's working with her body. They sell their labor; she sells (or at least peddles, because it doesn't seem like anyone is buying) sex.

When she dies, we get a look at the girl she might have been:

the meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face. She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young. Now her rouged cheeks and her reddened lips made her seem alive and sleeping very lightly. (5)

Can we blame Curley's wife for her pettiness, cruelty, and self-obsession? Or is she, like the ranchhands, just a victim of her circumstances?

Looking's Free

It's probably a combination of both. She flirts deliberately with the ranch hands, to make sure they suffer Curley's hot-headed, glove-wearing wrath and to make Curley feel even worse about himself—two for the price of once.

She also knows how to use her tongue. When she barges in on Lennie, Crooks, and Candy in Chapter Four, she scornfully notes that they "left all the weak ones here" (4.92). Just like Curley, she seeks out people who are smaller and weaker to make herself feel better. She cruelly cuts down Candy for his old age and meekness, Lennie for being "a dum dum," and—oh, yeah—she tells Crooks, "I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny" (4.120).

Basically, Curley's wife is just self-obsessed, and unable to judge herself and her position honestly. At every opportunity, she talks about her lost opportunities. She speaks of a traveling actor who told her she could join their show, without gathering that this is a pretty standard pick-up line. Same with the offer to go to Hollywood: Curley's wife convinces herself that her mother stole the letter, rather than realize that the guys weren't interested in her talent.

Curley's wife's obsession with herself ultimately leads to her death. She's half-afraid of Lennie, but she also wants his attention and praise. It's not a coincidence that that she ends up dying because she didn't want Lennie to mess up her hair: look, and even touch if you want—but don't get too comfortable. She's a tease, leading guys on to make herself feel better. And she gets what she deserves (by the logic of the book): death.

Well, no one ever accused Steinbeck of being a feminist.

Curley's Wife's Timeline


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