Curley's Wife- of Mice and Men

2657 Words11 Pages
Curley’s wife- a good girl or a floozy? Curley’s wife is the young, pretty newly married wife of Curley- the boss’ son. Steinbeck doesn’t give her a name in his novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ which helps create an impression of her being someone with no individual existence of her own. It also suggests she is Curley’s possession. The first mention of Curley’s wife is by Candy, the elderly swamper on the ranch, who speaks in a negative way about her. He points out to George that Curley has a glove full of Vaseline on his left hand, to keep his hands soft for his wife. However, Candy continues confidently by exclaiming: ‘Wait’ll you see Curley’s wife’. He follows this by describing her as ‘purty’ and more significantly that she ‘has got the eye’. We learn that the couple have only been married for two weeks. These comments shock and disgust George, this could be because they are a new couple yet Curley’s wife is acting in this manner or he could be shocked that such a down graded worker would say this about their boss, which could make the job-less. Steinbeck uses repetition to emphasis the point that Candy has seen Curley’s wife give both Slim and Carlson ‘the eye’. This could show that Curley’s wife is a flirt with the other ranch workers. Candy finishes his gossip by announcing his own opinion ‘I think Curley’s wife is … a tart’. The ellipsis here holds up the tension giving stress to the word ‘tart’. Tart suggests that Curley’s wife is a floozy. This description of Curley’s wife is re-emphasized a few pages later, when she makes her first appearance. George calls her ‘a tramp’ and warns Lennie not to even look at her. This means that George is suspicious of her and doesn’t want to get him and Lennie in trouble like Lennie did at the last ranch. He continues by calling her ‘poison’, ‘rattrap’ and ‘jailbait’. George has only just met her, this shows that he
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