Curleys Wife's Death

878 Words4 Pages
Many times during the novel Of Mice and Men Steinbeck creates contradiction: Curley’s wife’s red wardrobe compared to the brown, mucky, ranch. Even George and tall Lennie are conflicting themes in the novel. These are only two small examples, looking deeper in the novel one finds the importance in Curley’s Wife’s death. The passage describing Curley’s wife’s death is the most emotionally wrenching for the reader in the novel. Steinbeck elicits contradictory feelings in the reader: sympathy for the recently murdered woman as well as sympathy for his murderer. Steinbeck achieves this through using contrasting imagery, portraying Lennie with animal traits, and presenting Curley’s wife’s death as a release from her misery. Steinbeck provides conflict with texture, light, and sound to assist the reader’s emotional quarrel. The feel of Curley’s Wife’s soft hair put side by side to the rough old and brown of the ranch displays many of the differences. Steinbeck has subliminally mentioned isolation and conflict that Curley’s wife’s creates with her soft hair; here it is quiet apparent, “Feel right aroun’ there an’ see how soft it is.” (Steinbeck 90). “Lennie’s fingers closed on her hair.” (Steinbeck 91). One can imagine Lennie running his hands through her soft hair with his calloused hand, which is so used to rough bunks and hay, Rough texture compared to softness is like darkness and light, cacophony and silence. The closed walls of the barn created the darkness inside while the light lingered outside. This reference to light and dark is a lot like the sounds during this scene but not quite the same. Steinbeck instead of just contrasting he alternates between loud noises and ominous silences. We first have the silence of when Curley’s Wife enters the Barn tiring not to alert Lennie. Then we have the hectic

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