Curley’s Wife

Examine how your chosen novelist presents a particular character. Refer closely to the text in your answer to support your views.

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In this essay I will explore “Of Mice and Men” written by John Steinbeck and how the author represents the character “Curley’s Wife” who is a vindictive and cruel person throughout the story up until near to her death Steinbeck portrays her as “can be nice”. Curley’s Wife from the start was seen as property of Curley and Steinbeck has never mentioned that Curley’s Wife never had a name and is always referred to as ‘Curley’s Wife’ the possessive apostrophe is symbolic Curley’s Wife was very flirtatious ‘She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward’. She was also very lonely because her husband didn’t love her and only wanted her as property. Steinbeck first introduced Curley’s Wife as a girl not a woman which implies that she is looked down upon and obviously isn’t yet worthy enough to be a woman. She always pretends to be looking for Curley for an excuse to talk to the other men on the ranch and flirts with them and when Slim tells her Curley is in the house she instantly runs off this would mean that she’s scared of Curley and doesn’t want to socialize with him. She wears red clothing as sign as danger to men and is responsible of her death because Lennie has a mind of a seven year old and her red clothing attracts Lennie. She likes to talk to George and Lennie even though she doesn’t know them. Candy discriminates Curley’s Wife by saying ‘Curley’s married… a tart’. He warns George and Lennie about her. The novel is set in the 1930’s at the time of the great depression in America.

The woman back then had then had no rights and was classed as ‘property’ of their husbands. Also racism was a problem and the black people also had no rights. They were treating as slaves. Crooks in Of Mice and Men is black and Curley’s Wife is racist towards him numerous times throughout the story ‘Well you keep your trap shut, Nigger’, she also calls Lennie horrible names such ‘Dum-Dum’ because of his disability. Because of the great depression in the 1930’s and employers wouldn’t employ woman because of the discrimination, she couldn’t leave Curley because she couldn’t afford to. She also attacks Candy and calls him ‘a lousy ol’ sheep’ because he is old and not very active he also follows round with the group (Curley, Crooks G&L etc). In part 5 of the story we see a softer side of Curley’s wife because she shares her hopes and with Lennie. She sees herself in movies and hopes to be a big Hollywood star. She herself was once taken advantage of by a man who stated that he would make her hopes and dreams come true

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