Curley's Wife Characterization

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Curley’s wife is one of the most contrasted characters in this novella , not only is she contrasted she is also layered like an onion or Russian doll and under each layer there is a different personality that she hides. At the beginning of this novella we are introduced to a vain, narcissistic young woman who flirts with stable hands on the ranch in which she resides. But as we go on into the novella, this flirtatious young woman becomes a shell of a frightened and broken young girl who has always dreamed of being more than just an ordinary girl.

Her flirtatiousness. Her flirtatiousness plays a big part in her shell and our first thoughts of her. Although when we first hear of her ,we are both being prepared and prejudicing her before we have even met her. Candy tells George and Lennie about her, calling her a tart and a flirt which isn’t wrong but it gives us a negative image before we get to know her and understand what she does and why. She is often seen all over the ranch ‘looking for Curley’ in places the reader doubts Curley will be. Maybe if she wasn’t so flirty people would talk to her, but then again maybe not
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We are first introduced to a mean, attention seeking flirt, but as we get further on she begins to ‘let down her guard ‘and we meet a new character that we almost pity. A character who is filled with resent and loneliness towards her past, her cocky husband and her position in society. She is seen in many scenes to be getting upset and angry at the ranch workers who are wise enough to ignore her in order to avoid the wrath of Curleys. During the ‘tenement’ in the last chapter, Curleys wife tells Lennie her story and that she gets ‘awful lonely’ and that the only person who she’s allowed to or will talk to her is Curley who she doesn’t like. She is also the only female on a ranch full of men, she doesn’t have anyone to relate to or talk to apart from her cocky husband who only talks about how he’ll knock someone out and how he’ll do
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