How Does Steinbeck Present Curley's Wife

490 Words2 Pages
Curly's wife is so lost, lonely and insignificant that Steinbeck does not even give her a name. She spends the novel trying to find company under the guise of looking for her husband. Curly is in fact an intensely abusive person with a major case of small-guy complex. The irony is that while she pretends to be looking for Curly, she is actually trying to avoid him. The men on the ranch fear Curly's wife. She is a temptress of sorts and she is a possession of Curly’s (hence her name). She projects undertones of sexuality in almost everything she says. The men are lonely which only highlights her danger. They do not want the bosses son, Curly, to get angry. They simply can't afford to lose their job during a depression. Steinbeck uses many different techniques to present Curley’s wife such as colour imagery, appearance, metaphors and similes in the early stages of the novel. The effect of these techniques is that the reader creates a mental image of Curley’s wife even before she even enters the novel. Steinbeck initially presents Curley’s wife in a negative manner. The reader is first introduced to…show more content…
Candy also says “Curley’s married . . . a tart” which shows how Steinbeck wants to present Curley’s wife which is in a very crude manner. The word “tart” which shows the impression and effect Curley’s wife has on other workers on the ranch. The word “tart” is very blunt and straight forward which is the effect Steinbeck wanted to use because he wants to show the reader the immediate impression workers have about Curley’s wife. This further supports my point that Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife in a negative manner. The effect of this is that the reader has made an unfair judgement about Curley’s wife without her even speaking. This means that the reader sees her as a danger to Lennie but also makes the reader think that she is unfaithful and has married Curley for the wrong reasons such as money and power which is what all ambitious women
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