A Grades...? Essay

897 WordsFeb 4, 20134 Pages
a) How does Steinbeck present Curley’s wife in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’? Use details from the text to support your answer. Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife’s life on the ranch as being a miserable one, and a life she didn’t expect to lead with her aspirations of being a movie star. She evidently isn’t ready for life on the ranch, as Steinbeck describes her as a “girl”, suggesting that she’s young, immature, and possibly quite quick-tempered and impetuous as she “flared up”. This suggests that she makes very quick, rash decisions, which is supported by the fact that she married Curley the night she met him. Her bad temper also has strong links to the colour red, which is often thought of as being quite a brash, angry colour, and is a recurring theme throughout the novel when it comes to Curley’s wife. She is described as wearing red mules and lipstick, and having red nails which she admires frequently. This could link to Steinbeck’s use of a hand motif throughout the story. Curley’s wife asks “what happened to Curley’s han’?” after complaining about being stuck with him for a husband, suggesting that she doesn’t have a happy married life, even though they’re only 2 weeks into their marriage. She’s extremely sarcastic when referring to her husband – “swell guy, ain’t he” – because of how she’s treated. Everybody thinks less of her as she’s a young woman (or possibly even in her late teens) in the 1930s, which was very much a male dominated society. Steinbeck uses Candy’s reluctance to tell her the truth to show the reader that the men think of her and how she reacts. She asks “whattaya think I am, a kid?” which the reader can automatically link to the way she’s treated. Curley may be worried that his wife is going to run off with one of the other men on the ranch, even though he doesn’t realise that they’re all afraid of her. To men like George, Whit or Candy,

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