Of Mice and Men - Curley's Wife

1053 Words5 Pages
Curley's Wife, Innocent or Not? Of Mice and Men is not a novel that portrays women considerately, examples of this are shown throughout the novel, in particular Curley's wife, who walks the ranch as a temptress and as a result is treated with scorn throughout the course of the novel, resulting in her death. This essay will analyze and discuss Steinbeck's portrayal of Curley's wife. Whether or not she is ultimately an innocent person caught in a tragic situation or simply a malevolent person who brings about her own inevitable doom. 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. She is already resentful of the fact that she could be a movie star in Hollywood with people at her beck and call but is instead stuck on a ranch, which isn't her ideal situation; this is shown when she is talking to Lennie in the stables and says, "I live right in Salinas. Come there when I was a kid. Well, a show come through, an' I met one of the actors. He says I could go with that show. But my ol' lady wouldn't let me. She says because I was on'y fifteen. But the guy says I coulda. If I'd went, I wouldn't be livin' like this, you bet." (124) She also says later on, "I don't like Curley. He ain't a nice fella. Coulda been in the movies, an' had nice clothes – all of them nice clothes like they wear. An' I coulda sat in them big
Open Document