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.
This also foreshadows the death that is to come, shown further by Lennie's fascination with her; he 'watched her, fascinated'. Alternatively, this could symbolise her anger and frustration at the ranch's view of her, that is, as a 'tramp'. This could also be a comment from Steinbeck; that men are dominant in deciding the status of someone, and that women have little power. Therefore, colour imagery is used to show the danger surrounding Curley's Wife and to foreshadow her involvement later in the novel. The fact that Curley's Wife, on a ranch, is 'heavily made up' indicates the fact that she is lonely, as on a ranch there is need to wear such heavy make up, and the only purpose it serves it to attract attention from the other men.
How is Curley'sWife presented in 'Of Mice and Men'? Do you find her portrayal a sympathetic one? In of mice and men, Curleys Wife is presented in many various ways. At first impression, she comes across as the seductive, troublemaker the ranchers see her as. However, as the story progresses, we learn that this is only one of many sides to a very lonely woman.
HOW DOES STEINBECK PRESENT CURLEY’S WIFE IN OF MICE AND MEN Steinbeck introduces Curley’s Wife into the novella in a negative way. We first hear of her through gossip after George and Lennie arrive at the ranch. Candy says she gives the men on the ranch ‘the eye’ and calls her ‘…a tart’. He is warning them of her flirtatious ways and hesitates before calling her a tart as he knows what he’s saying is scandalous. He also says ‘wait’ll you see Curley’s wife’.
Furthermore Steinbeck emphasises this impression of her by her physical appearance in the novel. ‘She had full rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up’, here she flaunts herself around the ranch looking inappropriately which clearly shows she wants to be at the centre of attention. Steinbeck also uses a repetition of red, she wore ‘red mules’ and ‘her fingernails were red’ which symbolises her as danger. To build on our opinions of her, her body language is deliberately provocative when she leans ‘so that her body was thrown forward’. She does this aware of revealing her figure in a ranch full of men and
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’.
Steinbeck’s repeated use of the word red encourages us to condemn Curley’s wife as red is a colour associated with: danger, guilt, sacrifice, sin, passion and anger, often as connected with blood or sex. Another example of her negative presentation along these lines is when Candy says to George ‘You’ll see plenty. She ain’t concealin’ nothing. I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin’ all the time on everybody.’ Whilst superficially this would encourage the reader to condemn Curley’s Wife as a tart, one has to consider the bias of the man speaking it and realise that men like Candy have worked on ranches all their lives and therefore their view of women is likely to be inaccurate or exaggerated and prejudiced.
Tart light/dark This perception is further emphasized by Curley's Wife's first appearance in the novel. Steinbeck uses light symbolically to show that she can be imposing when he writes, "The rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off". Her physical appearance of "full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made- up", as well as painted fingernails and elaborate hair, further build on our preconceptions of her as a tart. She both 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 text.
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.
Of Mice and Men Throughout the novel Of Mice and Men Steinbeck portrays Curley’s wife in a number of different ways. Curley’s wife is a glamorous, flirtatious, self-obsessed woman living on an all-male ranch. In some ways she has been portrayed fairly, as her cruel actions show that she deserves the judgements that are thrown at her. In other ways there is misogyny detected in Steinbecks depiction, as she is judged right from the start, before they know what she has to go through. You may view her as a sympathetic character, however all sympathy may be lost throughout the novel.