Heroes and Villains: Explore the ways sympathy for and/or dislike of a character is created in the text you have studied.

2275 Words Apr 23rd, 2014 10 Pages
Heroes and Villains: Explore the ways sympathy for and/or dislike of a character is created in the text you have studied.

INTRODUCTION: In the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’, Steinbeck has used many different language features in order to create such a complex and sophisticated character whom I will be investigating - Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife is a pivotal character. She has been presented as a villain in the early stages of the book and her character seems to unravel as we read on. As a reader, we comprehend the factors which had influenced her actions and how living in a misogynistic society has affected the way she behaves - alternating the way we feel about this character and instead sympathy begins to develop, demolishing all the
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DISLIKE: In Section two, Curley’s Wife’s description is continued and from this, the author formates further antagonistic feelings towards her through the use of colour imagery and symbolism. She is described as having “full rouged lips” and that her “fingernails were red”, and is also wearing a dress with “red mules”. Curley’s wife’s whole outfit is constantly referred to the colour red and Steinbeck has intentionally, repeatedly mentioned this colour in Curley’s wife’s description to emphasise the significance of it. This clarifies that Curley’s wife is going to be a potential threat to George and Lennie’s dream. She is a sign of jeopardy and Steinbeck is foreshadowing that she will bring harm to George and Lennie’s dream. This idea can then be confirmed to be rightfully conceived as the colour ‘red’ is also symbolic of danger, aggression and violence. This links to the woman in weed who was also dressed in red, indicating that Lennie will attack Curley’s wife as she is also dressed in red. Here, Steinbeck is foreshadowing the future of the book. Throughout the novel, we discover that George and Lennie’s dream is indeed shattered because of Curley’s wife. Steinbeck is once again reiterating the futility of the American dream, reminding the audience that not all wishes come true.

DISLIKE: Another way in which Steinbeck stimulates dislike for this character is through the use of dialogue. In section four, she says, “Listen,
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