John Steinbeck Once Said of Curley’s Wife, ‘She’s a Nice Girl, Not a Floozy’. How Does Steinbeck Present Curley’s Wife in ‘of Mice and Men’?

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John Steinbeck once said of Curley’s wife, ‘She’s a nice girl, not a floozy’. How does Steinbeck present Curley’s wife in ‘Of Mice and Men’?

In this essay I will show how Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife in a number of ways throughout the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, showing both how she is portrayed as a ‘nice girl’ as well as a ‘floozy’. This novel was set during the great depression and is written around two key themes of the American dream, which every ‘ranch hand’ owned their own patch of land, and loneliness, the only common feeling that each individual in the novel feared. Loneliness was the main theme that caused Curley’s wife to be interpreted in a negative way by the other ranch men. The very first time we meet Curley’s wife
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She takes pride in her appearance and only seeks to impress those around her. We only know more about Curley’s wife through the comments of the men at the ranch. Everyone refers to her as ‘Curley’s wife’ so doesn’t have her own identity, therefore is not addressed as a person but as a possession. Prejudice leads to her loneliness as she has no rights and feels isolated. Every worker on the ranch appears to try to avoid Curley’s wife as they fear the consequences that Curley could put upon them if he discovers anything suspicious. Because of this, she’s a lonely character and seeks attention from others as Curley doesn’t give her any; however, she sometimes comes across as being desperate without it being her intention. One of the workers on the ranch describes her as a ‘tart’ and a woman that would ‘sell out for twenty bucks’ – this would influence the other workers not to get involved with her by making Curley’s wife’s life on the ranch a challenging one in order for people to understand her intentions of being friendly rather than desperate. The negative feelings towards Curley’s wife start changing after she reveals more about herself in Crooks’ room. She claims to be looking for Curley but after cold responses from the men she starts talking about her desire to live her own life. However, she shows signs of lack of sensitivity by referring to the men as leaving ‘the weak ones here’. Although she has a low social

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