Compare The Presentation Of Curley's Wife In Of Mice And Men

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Explore the ways Curley’s wife is presented and developed in ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife in a negative and unflattering way in the novella ‘Of Mice and Men.’ She is an important character who is perhaps the loneliest person on the ranch. As a result of this she behaves in ways that other characters disapprove of. I shall show the ways Curley’s wife is presented and developed by showing how she appears, how she acts around other characters and what they say about her. Even before Curley’s wife appears, Candy talks about her in a negative way to George and Lennie. He is quite gossipy and says ‘She got the eye’. This phrase means that she looks at and flirts with other men. Candy then says that ‘Curley’s married………a…show more content…
‘Nigger, I could get you strung up on a tree so easy, it ain’t even funny.’ This statement is intimidating and suggests that she can get Crook’s hanged as he was rude to her and that she can get him lynched. Steinbeck shows the reader, the racism that existed in 1930’s America and this also shows how dangerous she can be by abusing her power and trying to show control over Crook’s who is the only black person on the ranch Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife to show isolation. ‘I get lonely, ‘I get awful lonely’. This use of repetition stresses the loneliness that she experiences. All she has to talk to is ‘nobody but Curley’. Her dreadful frustration at being like this is made obvious when she is speaking to Lennie in the barn. Steinbeck writes; ‘And then her words tumbled out in a passion of communication as though she hurried before her listener could be taken away.’ The word ‘tumbled’ is used to suggest how desperately she needs to talk to someone. The word ‘passion’ is used to suggest the strong powerful need that she has to communicate how she feels to Lennie and it also stresses her impulsive nature. So far in ‘Of Mice and Men’ Curley’s wife has been presented in a negative way, in section 5 Steinbeck shows another side of her which has compassion and caring…show more content…
At her death she is presented in an innocent way which is in great contrast to the way she has been presented in much of the novella ‘She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young.’ This suggests that she was never evil and that she was attractive but in a nice way. Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife to present the theme of the American Dream. ‘Coulda been in the movies, an had nice clothes- all them nice clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me.’ Sadly a guy had let her down and it never happened. She is desperate to feel noticed and special and this shows how lonely she is and isolated. Steinbeck presented Curley's Wife in different ways. First she is seen as 'a tart', a threat, using her power, being racist but then she is presented as also lonely and compassionate to Lennie. In Steinbeck's letter to the actress playing her in the play version, he says 'if you could break down her thousand defences she has built up, you would find a nice person, an honest person, and you would end up loving her.' We see in the end what a nice person she can be and that she wants to be loved like anyone else.’ |
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