How important is Curleys wife in the novel Of Mice and Men?

485 Words2 Pages
Curley’s wife is an important character in the story because she is linked to all the major events in the novel. When we first hear of her we are told by Candy in chapter 2 that she’s a “tart” and “she’s got the eye”, so we assume by that description of her she likes male company and enjoys being the centre of attention. When we actually meet her in the story she was dressed very provocatively and made up. George’s first impression of her was “Jesus, what a tramp”. Then George warned Lennie to keep away from her; “Listen to me you crazy bastard, don’t you even look at that bitch. I don’t care what she says and what she does, I seen ‘em poison before but never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her.” Curley’s wife causes tension on the ranch because she annoys and embarrasses Curley by wandering around the ranch flirting. This makes Curley angry and feel humiliated because his wife is always seeking the attention of other men. Curley got angry with the other worker because his wife is often disappearing and he felt as if the other man laughed at him because he could not keep control of his wife. “If you can’t keep control of your god-damn wife what do you want me to do about it?” Curley’s wife’s behaviour on the ranch angered Curley so much that he often vented his anger on the other men because Lennie was laughing to himself. Curley got self-conscious and started a fight because Curley thought Lennie was laughing at him. Curley’s wife was used to convey the misery of a woman’s life on a ranch. She was lonely because no one wanted to speak to her or listen to her. She was desperate for attention and someone to like her. Steinbeck used her to show the inequality of women and how they were treated in the 1930’s; they had no freedom and were regarded as a possession of men. They often had dreams but they had only one way to secure a
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