This shows that the society in the 1930s was racist. Curley’s relationship with his wife seems as if they don’t even like each other. This is shown when Curley’s wife says “I don’t’ like Curley, he ain’t a nice fella.” Curley’s wife is also scared of Curley due to his fearsome power and a brutish man.
Though Crooks is a Black man he is a hell of a good worker, so he says himself. When he talks to Lennie and Candy he feels pleasure mixed with anger. When Curley 's wife comes in and threatens him, he feels small and scared and feels like he lost power and privileges over his room and realizes he is black and shouldn 't have back talked her. He knows what she could do to him for what he did, so she says her self. “She closed on him. “You know what I could do?”.....“Well, you keep your place then....I could get you strung up so easy it ain 't funny. '”(80, 81). Because she was a white female and the boss ' son 's Wife she had superiority over him and so he felt alone at that moment. He didn 't realize the cruelness of white folk when he was younger but as he grew older he did, mainly because of where he slept and the way he was treated. “ 'Why ain 't you wanted?”...“Cause I 'm black. They play cards in there, but I can 't play because I 'm black... '”(68). This
During the Great Depression, it was not uncommon to become morosely secluded while working. Men would go far away from their families in search of any jobs they could get, with only themselves to confide in; colleagues only filling in the void of friends and family partially. Naturally, John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men, written during this period, would reflect this fact as a major aspect of the story. Loneliness would become the sinew of Of Mice and Men, manifested in some of the story’s main characters: Candy, Crooks, and Curley’s wife. These allusions to loneliness are found throughout the book, mimicking the rampant disease of isolation at the time.
By looking more closely at the story, one can see that Curley’s wife is also a metaphor which symbolizes the way which other people looked upon women in the society of the 1930’s. Curley’s wife represents a whole marginalized group in the American society at that time. In the novel, characters are never fully developed, but instead appear as outlines or symbols of real people. Candy, Crooks, and Curley's wife represent the discriminated groups of age, race, and sex. Curley’s wife has been given an overall picture in the eyes of George and Lennie before they even meet her, by Candy. The picture Candy paints about her hints at how she tends to give all the men on the ranch ‘the eye’. Nobody really knows Curley’s wife because nobody ever talks to her and listens to what she really has to say. Curley’s wife wants attention. She wants people to notice her. She is the only woman on the ranch out of all the men. She wears fancy clothes and nice make up to make her look beautiful and
Human’s desire is to control and dominate others through the use of power. However, the shifts and the notions of power can change as new people gain control. Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men illustrates the transient nature of power through the characters desire to control and dominate others.
While Crooks, a victim of racial prejudice, expresses his isolation openly, he also socializes with the other workers on the job and while playing horseshoes with them. Curley’s wife, on the other hand, cannot talk to anyone without suffering the consequences of a jealous husband: “I get lonely,’ she said. “You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?” (87) More specifically,after meeting him that same night, Curley’s wife ran away from home to marry Curley to spite her mother. She further confessed to Lennie she doesn’t even like Curley. As a result, she left one situation hoping to move closer to capturing her dreams, but her companion’s jealous and violent behavior prevents her from even socializing with others.(88) Therefore, she went from living with multiple people to living with only Curley, who is supposed to be her companion and someone she
There is a lot of racial prejudice shown in this novel towards Crooks, the black stable-hand. Crooks, the “more permanent than the other men” (67), had his own “little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn” (66) with “more possessions than he could carry on his back” (67). He, "ain’t wanted in the bunk house" (68) just because he is "black, they play cards in there but I can’t play because I’m black" (68). Curley’s wife would never call him by his name, and treated him awfully while abusing her position as the boss’ son’s wife. “’Listen, Nigger’, she said, ‘you know what I can do to you if you open you trap’"(80).
' “ (Steinbeck 32). Curley 's Wife, innocent just like Crooks, is also judged and persecuted by others. She is not even given a name, which does not give her any dignity. Curly’s wife is always called out by the ranchers. Even after her own tragic death Curley 's Wife is still seen as the cause of trouble. Candy believes that Curley 's Wife is at fault. Candy lets his anger out on Curley 's Wife because he has more power than her, “ 'You God damn tramp, ' he said viciously. 'You done it di 'n 't you? I s 'pose you 're glad. Ever 'body knowed you 'd mess things up. You wasn 't no good. You ain 't no good now, you lousy tart. ' “ (Steinbeck 95). Candy calling out Curley 's Wife represents society treating her as a cast off. Curley 's Wife is lonely because she is the only woman on the ranch, however because of this, she is always being treated cruelly and without respect.
The final type of discrimination shown in the novel is discrimination against the physically and mentally disabled, in this case, Candy, Lennie, and once again Crooks. Because of disabilities, they are the weakness on which the stronger majority of the other men prey upon. Candy, the one handed housekeeper, is only allowed to live at the ranch as a compensation, because the loss of his hand occurred there. He gives the men power over him by being overly careful in what he does and says, because if he gets thrown out from the ranch, no one would take him. And just for that reason, he is drawn into George and Lennie?s dream of owning a farm. He wants the security of knowing that he has somewhere to stay for the rest of his life, and that he will not be discarded
In a discussion John Steinbeck said, "I worked in the same country that the story is laid in. The characters are composites to a certain extent. Lennie was a real person. He's in an insane asylum in California right now. I worked alongside him for many weeks . . .” (Parini 27)
Curley’s Wife was a subject of Prejudice because she was a woman. During the 1930’s a woman’s place was to be at home raising a family, also women were seen as second class citizens and property of their husbands. Before we meet Curley’s Wife, the reader already has an opinion of her because of what the character Candy calls her- “jail bait”; George calls her a “tramp”. It’s implied that she is a tart and a promiscuous woman; she craves the attention her husband doesn’t give her.
Curley’s wife, on the other hand, is not insecure, but suffers from ostracism and isolation because she is a married woman. Michael Meyer points out, “…the hardship for a woman to live on the ranch as presented in the novel should not be ignored”. Curley’s wife only wants someone to talk with her, but the men on the ranch mistake her trying to start conversations as sexual advances: “I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin’ all the time on everybody… I don’t know what the hell she wants” (Steinbeck 51). They also ridicule her, calling her a
The novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck emphasizes the division in social classes and social structure based on power. The novel and its themes are based around the characters’ interactions and decisions. Their motivations come directly from other characters, and the social construct on the ranch that controls the characters within the novel. Each character has their own journey of giving into the powers that control their society and lives which leads to each of their own inescapable demises.
Alice Walker, an American novelist, once stated that “the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” In current society, power is everywhere, and everyone has at least has some control, no matter how ineffective they might feel. In the novella “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, the concept of power is represented on a ranch in the 1930’s. On the ranch, there is a group of outsiders- people who do not fit in- that consists of Crooks, a black stable buck, Curley’s wife, who is married to the powerful Curley, Lennie, a worker with a mental disability, and Candy, and old swamper. These outsiders are isolated and feel powerless compared to the rest of society. However, within this group of outsiders, power structures still exist and everyone has power in one way or another. Steinbeck, through the story of Crooks and Curley’s wife, teaches that no matter how powerless someone seems, they may still wield power over others.
Curley’s wife is a complicated character. She is unfaithful and bitter. But that’s only because she is extremely lonely and feels unwanted by her husband. She takes the feeling of dissatisfaction and projects it at all of the men on the ranch. She regrets the direction her life has taken but still has hope that she can achieve her dream. All the characters in the novel feel like outsiders and Curley’s wife is no