Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men' explores the everyday lives of migrant workers during the Great Depression. In this era, American men were forced to leave their families and become 'drifters'. These were people who didn't have a fixed job and continually moved from place to place. 'Of Mice and Men' is based around two main themes; loneliness, and the fragility of dreams. Each main character connects with both of these themes at some stage throughout the novel. Curley's wife is no exception to this. At the beginning of the novel the reader views her as an unpleasant, naive and troublesome character. However, as the novel progresses, the reader is gradually exposed to another side of Curley's wife, one that suggests she is merely a …show more content…
However, when she notices George and Lennie, Curley's wife claims she is "lookin' for Curley". Inferring she is cautious and reserved towards George and Lennie. The colour red is also used a lot to describe Curley's wife. Steinbeck describes her as having "rouged lips", "red mules" and "red ostrich feathers". Suggesting red is a colour that is associated with Curley's wife, and that she signifies danger. Adding to this, during Curley's wife's conversation with George and Lennie, "Lennie's eyes moved up and down her body". This immediately alerts the reader that Curley's wife is dangerous. As previously George and Lennie had to run from their last job in Weed, due to Lennie's attraction to petting soft things. After this conversation, George calls her "jailbait" and a "rattrap", he knows that she is dangerous, and warns Lennie to keep out of her way. It is evident from these points that Curley's wife is a dangerous and provocative character, and one that should be avoided. Generally, during the course of the novel, women are viewed negatively. They are seen as objects, not real people. For example, throughout the novel, Curley's wife is merely known as 'Curley's wife'. She is never called by her real name. The term 'Curley's wife' implies she is owned by Curley, and not a person with freedom. From this, the reader can tell that Curley's wife lives in an unfair World, in an era of inequality. This suggests Steinbeck
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‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck was written during the Great Depression in America in the 1930’s. During the Great Depression there was a great job loss which resulted in men becoming migrant works. This was particularly hard for black Americans because back then discrimination against black people wasn’t abolished yet; they were segregated from the white people which meant they couldn’t find work. They were treated very poorly and were considered one level up from animals. Steinbeck had a good knowledge of the life people were living back then because he had the experience of living and working at a ranch in Salinas where his story is based. The story begins by describing the scenery in a lot of detail; he describes it in such a way
Her average day would start out like any other woman’s. She encountered others with a smile and would initiate a conversation in hopes of making friends despite the strict orders everyone had been given to not talk to her. Her hopeful smile would fade as she heard the painful words the men spoke of her. Tart. Tramp. Whore. Promiscuous. Each day she would hear these words, but each day she would act as if they did not faze her. She is Curley’s wife and before her death, she would be described by these degrading words that no woman hopes to hear. The novel Of Mice and Men follows the dynamic duo that is George Milton and Lennie Small through their experiences at a new job. One of the characters they meet is Curley’s wife, a misunderstood woman whose husband attempts to control her yet she stayed strong. Although unintentionally, Steinbeck represents Curley’s wife as a feminist icon through her defiance for her husband and inability to conform to stereotypes, and while, he openly described women as submissive to men, through her lack of compassion Steinbeck subtly suggests that women are indeed more powerful.
Women are mostly irrelevant throughout Of Mice and Men and when they are introduced they are regarded as either pleasure givers or pleasure seekers. The pleasure givers are women who reside in a brothel and are worth only “two an’ a half” (52). The other women are automatically categorized as pleasure seekers which can be seen though Curley’s wife who, in reality, simply craves some company since she “never get[s] to talk to nobody” (86). Steinbeck fails to even dignify her as a person by refusing to give her a proper name. Instead, she is referred to as Curley’s wife: a piece of Curley’s property. Those above her in the hierarchy ignore or silence her voice, especially in regards to what she aspires to be or to have, her dreams. She is completely ostracized by the other men on the ranch because of her prescribed reputation as pleasure giver since she is a woman, so when Curley’s wife is able to socialize with the only person with whom she can, someone who is lower than her socially, Lennie, she relays her “story quickly, before she could be interrupted” (88). The fact that Steinbeck places Curley’s wife above Crooks and Lennie in the social ladder emphasizes how futile those characters are; if a character viewed as a piece of property is placed above another character than that latter character must be significantly
Will Smith once said, “The women who don’t seek attention are usually the women you need to be giving your attention to”. This quote relates to Mice and Men because Curley’s wife is in the observe situation, where with her actions, she is pleading for attention but gets none in return. In the novel, Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, the only female in the book is killed because the men think she is troublesome and bait for problems. Through the use of the men’s and the narrator’s diction, characterization, and the men’s assumptions, Steinbeck portrays how desperate Curley’s wife is for attention, later resulting in her death, which inturn causes the death of someone else.
In the novel of mice and men, Steinbeck presents Curley's Wife is presented in many various ways. At first impression, she comes across as the seductive, troublemaker the ranchers see her as. Nevertheless, as the story progresses, we learn that this is only one of many sides to a very lonely woman. The reader’s sympathy for this character also changes throughout the novel, as her secrets are revealed and the real Curley's Wife is found. Curley's Wife is a very complex character.
In many stories there's a team that without them the story would not have the same message. In this story the characters' that make the story is Lennie and Curley's wife. They teach us many lessons some good and some bad. Back in the time when this story takes place the times were much different, these affected the all characters actions. There are many characters in Of Mice and Men, yet Lennie and Curley's wife shape the story, with Lennie's mental ability and Curley's wife's flirtatiousness, they help us understand the key points of the story, because with their traits comes loneliness and heartbreak.
She is often given a disrespectful name by the workers and called a ‘tart,’ and ‘tramp.’ Her makeup and the way she looks at the men (‘gives them the eye’) entail that she is a tramp who wants to seduce men. When Curleys wife is first introduced Steinbeck’s description of her is full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers.’ From this vision she look like stereotypical tart. However Curley’s wife has an dream to be a famous performer. Curleys wife resents Curley because he is ‘not a nice fella,’ so she isn’t dressing up for him. Curley’s wife could imagine that the workers are her audience and try to impress them with her fancy attire. This could be her way to pretend to live her dream, and keep her mind off the loneliness. However the way the protagonist George believes and states she is a ‘tart,’ we believe him as he is a charismatic, smart character who we sympathise
That means that women were treated poorly, and Curley’s wife was just the example of that. Women back then really didn’t have a say in how they were treated by men. The reader could identify that because Steinbeck didn’t give her a name, the only identity she had was “Curley’s wife”. Curley treated his wife terribly because all he thought of her was as a trophy or an award that he could parade around. He never really cared about her like he should have, and he even showed that whenever she died; I mean, yes, he was sad when she died, but he was only sad for the loss of his social status not because he loved or cared for
Since the American race is believed to be superior to the African Americans, Curley’s wife has all power above Crooks when he is told “you keep your place then, nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny” (81). She could frame him and no one would believe the truth even if it does come up. Curley’s wife’s appearance is an immense part of her power “she had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red … She smiled archly and twitched her body” (31). Curley’s wife is so desperate for attention because she is always lonely. Therefore, she utilizes her beauty to try and seduce the men on the ranch. Throughout the novella, she appears to be wearing the color red, the color of temptation and seduction. Curley’s wife is in fact a woman that desires attention but she makes the mistake of trying to achieve it in the wrong
She is constantly looking for her husband Curley, while Curley is constantly looking for her and both can never seem to find each other. Curley’s wife is considered Curley’s property, and if constantly referred to as nothing more than a ‘tart.’ Once all of the men are situated in the bunk house, George and Lennie encounter Curley’s wife who is supposedly looking for her husband. After she leaves, Lennie is utterly amazed because of her good looks, and George unhappily replies, “Don’t you even take a look at that bitch. I don’t care what she says and what she does. I seen ‘em before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be” (Steinbeck 35-36). George uses derogatory terms and assumptions to try to prove that she is like any other woman he has met, and feels that since she comes across as a tease, she will certainly get the men in trouble. All Curley’s wife wants is someone to spill her confessions and feelings to because she is so lonely; she is expected to stay at home and tend the housework. In this certain time period, men depicted women to be pieces apart of their game of life, and only used them as decorative objects. Next, George suggests that Curley’s wife could not have the will to cope on a ranch full of men, and should stay in her place cleaning and being a perfect housewife. George states, “Ranch with a bunch of guys on it ain’t no place for a girl, specially like her” (Steinbeck 57). This quote shows gender inequality to Curley’s wife, because the men on the ranch stereotype women to be superficial and housewives, where the work at home should be done and one should be the perfect human being to their husband. In the 1930’s, men felt that they were the superior figures in the relationship, and strongly believed that women should stay where they belong; in a house baking cookies, and dressed appropriately. Curley’s wife tries
Curley’s wife gives off the impression she is a minx throughout the novel. Knowing her beauty figure, also as she's the only woman on the farm, this suggests her need to be noticed and by men. She talks She talks flirtatiously to George and Lennie although they have just arrived and she doesn’t know them. She pretends to be in search of her husband and when told that he is not there Steinbeck writes: ‘“If he ain’t, I guess I better look some place else" she said playfully.’ This suggests her loneliness in marriage and that she is seeking company and fun.
She does not talk to her husband, instead hides away from him to avoid him as much as possible. Unfortunately, Curley's wife is so lonely she absolutely does not care who she talks to as long as she gets attention whether it be from a male or a female. Moreover, Curley's wife' loneliness does not let her understand why the men do not want to interact with her in any form. Lennie Small, a ranch worker who is accompanied in the ranch by George Milton, his life long best friend, has just killed a puppy that he had asked George for so long, Lennie did not want anyone to know about it much less George who would undoubtedly not let him “tend the rabbits” which Lennie is greatly obsessed with. While Lennie is in a great moment of agony Curley's wife walks in on him
Of Mice and Menis not kind in its portrayal of women. In fact, women are treated with contempt throughout the course of the book. Steinbeck generally depicts women as troublemakers who bring ruin on men and drive them mad. Curley’s wife, who walks the ranch as a temptress, seems to be a prime example of this destructive tendency—Curley’s already bad temper has only worsened since their wedding. Aside from wearisome wives, Of Mice and Men offers limited, rather misogynistic, descriptions of women who are either dead maternal figures or prostitutes.
In John Steinbeck’s book, Of Mice and Men, the theme shown is that everyone should have someone to get through life with, no matter who they are through the use of character development, conflict, and symbolism. Firstly, the author shows this through the use of character development in Curley’s wife, and how even though she acts powerful, she also wants someone to love. Although she has Curley, Curley’s wife shows that she just wants someone that will listen to her and care about her when she says to Lennie, “Ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody?” (Steinbeck, 1945, pg. 87). Curley’s wife is so desperate to have someone to just talk to that she is constantly hanging around the boys even though they don’t like her being there. Additionally,
In John Steinbeck's novella, Of Mice and Men, Curley’s wife was seen more as an object than a person which lead to problems on the farm. Curley’s wife was an asset in the novella in bringing across the idea of the worth of an individual. Overall, she was important to the story in her own special way. The men on the ranch saw Curley’s wife as a “tart” or “tramp” that would always give them the eye.