In the John Steinbeck’s novel “of Mice and Men” he introduces us to the character of Curley’s wife. She could be interpreted as a mis-fitting character in the novel as no one relates to her. Steinbeck relates her to how women were powerless during 1930’s and makes her seem desperately lonely and isolated from the others on the ranch. She has sexual power which she uses to get to the men on the ranch and she just needs someone to talk to. She dislikes her husband and had a desire to become a movie star.
Curley’s wife would always try to show more of herself, and of course the reaction of the men was to call her a “tramp” and a “rat trap”. This is also subtly changing the readers view. We can see that all the men on the Ranch feel the same way about her. Steinbeck almost puts you in the position of Lennie and George, so whenever she insults them, so also insults you, further exaggerating what you feel about Curley’s wife. For example, when she says “They left all the weak ones here” all the men ignore her to let her know that she isn’t wanted, and Crooks tells her to get out.
Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife as nameless throughout the novella this presents her as Curley’s possession. By presenting us with one female character Steinbeck is indicating there is no real place for a woman on the ranch. Also, I think he reflects the history of women in the Great Depression onto Curley’s wife, how woman were considered inferior to men. Before George has met Curley’s wife Candy begins to tell George about her: “only been two weeks and she’s already got the eye.” ‘Eye’ signifies to us that she is unfaithful to her husband as she finds other men attractive, this makes the reader disapprove of her. Steinbeck makes us feel dislike by manipulating us into think she’s seeking attention inappropriately.
Curley’s wife is also a strong adumbration of the death of the American Dream. The reader holds their opinion of Curley’s wife with a certain bitterness most of the way through the novel, and often disregards everything she says as we sympathise with George and agree with his opinion that Curley’s wife is nothing but “Jail-bait” and “no good”. Curley’s wife tells a story to Lennie in the barn about how she could have been somebody. She says; “He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural.
Curley’s Wife is a complex character that is mentioned in the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’. In the beginning of the novella we feel sympathy and negativity towards Curley’s Wife. We feel sympathy because Curley’s Wife has no name. This shows that she is not of importance and that she is no more than an object. The characters in the novella refer to her as ‘Curley’s Wife’.
Candy uses expression such as “she got the eye” and goes on to describe her as looking at other men because of this they call her a “tart”. Through Candy’s words, we could develop an initial perception of Curley’s wife as flirtatious. This manipulates us by leading us into having a negative view of her. Her first appearance in the Novel focuses on her appearance. The way she acts, the way she looks and the way she speaks with others.
Curley's Wife is a fascinating character that is often not given the credit she deserves. She is a troubled, unhappy young woman who likely tried to escape an unsastisfying or troublesome childhood by naively marrying Curley. First off, pay attention to her name. She has none! Thi is not an accident, but a very symbolic gesture on the part of Steinbeck.
This makes the reader question her relationship with Curley, because if their relationship was strong, she wouldn’t be so desperate for attention. She knows that her beauty is her power, so she is very clever in the way she uses it to flirt with most of the men. She is presented to be very nasty and intimidating as you can tell by the scene where she snaps at Crooks. He threatens to have him lynched by saying ‘Nigger, I could get you strung up a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.’ By calling Crooks a ‘nigger’ it shows how cruel she can be, and that she is a twisted woman that has a sly side to her. Also she mentions that she could string him up a tree ‘so easy’ which suggests she has a
The title "Of Mice and Men". Firstly Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife as a lonely character. Newly married and in a strange place, she is forbidden by Curley to talk to anyone but him. To counter this, she constantly approaches the ranch hands on the excuse of looking for Curley. The only result is that the men regard her as a "slut", and Curley becomes even more intensely jealous.
In the 1930s America, women were seen as inferior to women. They were deprived of many rights and their default position was thought to be at home. Married women were by law forbidden to work and those unmarried were reduced to the worst jobs of society. In Of Mice and Men which is essentially a poignant tale about the friendship between two men, Steinbeck presents to us an unvaried sample of women. One of which actually speaks and appears for herself in person and another who although appears to have some moral values is “dead” and only appears through Lennie as a figment of his imagination.