Explore the ways in which Curley’s wife is explored and developed in ‘Of Mice and Men’:
Curley’s wife is a character of wide complex and diversity. Her role slowly unwinds and develops throughout the course of the novel, constantly changing the reader’s opinion of her due to her ambiguous characteristics. The essay I’m writing explores and analyses Curley’s wife’s complexity as we read further into who she really is; showing insights as to how she’s presented and developed.
Steinbeck’s ‘Mice and Men’ is not kind in its portrayal of women. Women are generally treated with contempt through the course of the novel and as a general theme. Steinbeck depicts females as ‘trouble makers’ who bring ruin on men; Curley’s wife who walks the ranch as a temptress, seems to be a prime example of this destructive tendency. ‘Of Mice and Men’ offers limited, rather misogynistic descriptions of women; such as the females in the cat houses, and others in 1930’s America. It suggests women were looked upon as inferior; and incapable of the skills men were, so a women’s role was majority housework and nothing with manual requirement. This raises the question as to why an incongruous character such as herself was situated on the ranch house.
From the first short encounter we share with Curley’s wife we see just one, prominent side to her. From this first meeting, a lot can be foreshadowed. Steinbeck focuses our first introduction with her on her appearance; emphasizing her sexual appeal and desirability towards men. ‘She had full rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up,’ which suggests that the author wanted us to presume the worst of her before she’d even spoken and we set ourselves up for her to be a character we feel a lot of resentment for. Steinbeck structures it this way so that as the novel develops and we read more into her personality, we can feel great sympathy for conjecturing her. The fact that her ‘finger nails were red,’ along with ‘red mules’ and ‘red...