The Corrupting Power of Women The portrayal of women in Of Mice and Men is limited and unflattering. We learn early on that Lennie and George are on the run from the previous ranch where they worked, due to encountering trouble there with a woman. Misunderstanding Lennie’s love of soft things, a woman accused him of rape for touching her dress. George berates Lennie for his behavior, but is convinced that women are always the cause of such trouble. Their enticing sexuality, he believes, tempts men to behave in ways they would otherwise not.
a) In this passage, what methods does Steinbeck use to present Curley's Wife and the attitudes of others to her? Refer closely to the passage in your answer. Steinbeck uses colour imagery to portray and foreshadow the dangerous nature of Curley's Wife. Steinbeck describes Curley's Wife's 'fingernails', 'mules' and the 'ostrich' feathers on the shoes as 'red', classically symbolising danger. This also foreshadows the death that is to come, shown further by Lennie's fascination with her; he 'watched her, fascinated'.
Curley’s wife is a character in ‘Of Mice and Men’ who is initially perceived as flirtatious and promiscuous however as the novel unfolds so does her personality and we begin to understand why she acts the way she does. Much of her behaviour can be traced back to the effects sexism had on women in America in the 1930s. She is lonely, with no other women on the ranch to relate to; her dreams have been lost and buried due to conformity and her final attempt at friendship with Lennie who she sees as someone with boundaries like herself ends in fatality. The phrase ‘lonely in a crowd’ is one that springs to mind when discussing Curley’s wife, she is surrounded by people but just can’t seem to find the attention she desires. When we are primarily introduced to her we can sense she may cause trouble among the men.
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
Choose one character introduced in chapter 2 and write 2 paragraphs on how Steinbeck presents them. Use language features and comment on the effect of these on the reader. In Of Mice and Men, chapter 2, Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife as a young flirtatious ‘girl’ who is trying to seek attention of all the men on the ranch through her physical appearance. This is seen through the use of invective language ‘well, I think Curley’s married … a tart’ by candy. The harsh use of word ‘tart’ for Curley’s wife before her introduction in the novella suggests that her actions are not praised by the men on the ranch .This also implies that Steinbeck wants to creates a false impression about Curley’s wife in the readers head which leads them to prejudice before meeting her.
Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife at the beginning of the novel as a tramp, a tart that threatens to destroy any male on the ranch. However, her appearances later in the novel that show her to have a more vulnerable, humane side change that. For example, the scene when she confronts Lennie, Candy and Crooks in the stables (109-114) shows her from a completely different perspective. It suggests that she is not entirely malevolent and can be considered innocent, however ultimately she does bring about her own doom. Curley's wife is an insecure, misunderstood and lonely woman caught in a tragic situation.
However he had a tragic flaw but him confessing leads up to his tragic death that causes the audience to feel sympathy. John Proctor’s downfall is initiated by a human flaw which was his inability to control and resist his desire. When his wife Elizabeth got sick began to catch feelings for Abigail. When John Proctor stated “but I will cut off my hand before I’ll ever reach out for you” (page 15, act one) he shows how at one point he was having an affair behind his wife back and this lead up to all the madness in the town of Salem. When Abigail was talking to Proctor she says “She is telling lies to about me!
How does Steinbeck present Curley’s Wife in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’? Steinbeck presents Curley’s Wife in the novel Of Mice and Men by pointing her out in a negative way; this is how most men would see women in the 1930s. She is judged on her appearance and the way she presents herself to other characters on the ranch. Curley’s Wife is described on how she looks; she is described as wearing red, which shows a symbol of danger. By wearing the red throughout this relates to how she always dreamed of being in the movies and fulfilling her dreams.
Her physical appearance of a good-looking lady who wears quite a bit of makeup, form-fitting dresses, and ostrich feathered-high heels. "full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made- up" aswell as painted fingernails and sausage curl hair, further build on our prejudice. She talks and acts playfully and flirtatiously in front of the other ranch workers. Through her physical appearance and her own actions, Candy's description of Curley's Wife seems accurate after her first appearance in the book. As the only woman on the ranch, Curley’s wife is lonely and sad ”why can’t i talk to you?
John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men The fact that in the first line Curley's wife is described to have cut of the ray of light shows that she is of somewhat danger to both George and Lennie. Another point is Steinbeck uses the word glanced, ‘Both men glanced up’, this show that both George and Lennie will be distracted by Curley’s wife, but not for long as the verb ‘glanced’ means to look quickly or briefly. Furthermore the text later goes on to say how she was heavily made up in rouge lips, red finger nails, with red ostrich feathers on top of her red shoes. The fact that Steinbeck describes her to be heavily made up in mainly the colour red shows how she is presented to already be sexualised within the first three lines. In the extract Steinbeck