Curley's Wife in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

2006 Words9 Pages
Curley's Wife in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

In this essay I am going to examine whether Curley's wife is a tart or

not. I will consider how some of the other characters in this novel,

Of Mice and Men, perceive her. Using this information I will draw a

conclusion about her personality and nature. A tart is defined as

someone who dresses up gaudily and exposes her body features to

attract the opposite sex. It is usually described for someone who is a


John Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife, as a tart at the beginning of

the novel, however as it progresses the way he presents her is

opposite. At the end of the novel we see that she presents herself as

a tart because of the intense loneliness she experiences. She seems to

always to want to get attention from the other men, however this does

not happen the way she wants it to because everyone she approaches

rejects her. Steinbeck does not give her a name because she is treated

like a possession by Curley and is not expected to have her own

personality. Curley controls her and everything she does Curley wants

to know. He is too possessive over her.

Although the other people on the ranch notice her, they do not

communicate with her for fear of Curley's anger. It is sad that she

cannot communicate with the men and that; there are no women on the

ranch for her to befriend and talk to. She is a vulnerable and a

miserable, immature woman who is desperate for love and companionship.

The reason why she is so miserable is that she did not have enough

confidence to trust her mother. She was brought up in the atmosphere

of violence and this is what has made her personality, wh...

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... fear or weakness brought an instant persecution." She

was learning to stand up to herself and became hardest when she was

most frightened. Steinbeck describes her sexual life as her having

none except with Curley. He described her as being a "little starved"

and she had no feminine companionship. This is why when she was

frightened she would become malicious and outspoken for. Inside she

was a nice and kind girl. She was described as respectful and

faithful, if she was treated right. The author tried to tell readers

that you need to put trust in people and at the same time, you should

be independent. You should talk about your feelings rather than

keeping them in. Opening up may help you to feel more comfortable and

happier and there is no need to isolate yourself from others because

everyone yearns for companionship.
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