Of Mice And Men - Curley's Wife

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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 ... ... middle of paper ... ...mass of emotions between the men, the conflict of killing Lennie. And Curley finally showed some caring emotion “I know who done it.” “That big son-of-a-bitch done it” Is when he begins to show the love for his wife. Curley talks about going to kill Lennie, which shows that his wife may have been a big part of his life a nothing is going to replace her. Curley’s wife is a difficult character to understand. Steinbeck hasn’t named her; this could be for a number of reasons. He may have wanted her to be seen as lonely therefore not naming her shows no one gets close enough to her to call her by her first name. He may have done it to show the other characters only see her as the wife of Curley rather than an individual. He may also have done it to show the male attitudes towards females. Curley’s wife also helps to provoke mixed emotions in the reader. We often feel sorry for her such as when she talks of her loneliness, but on other occasions the reader can find her cold hearted. This is seen when she is racist towards the other characters. Most of Steinbeck’s characters are stereotypical, or have some form of a stereotypical view towards them and Curley’s wife is no exception.
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