Of Mice and Men - Curleys Wife Confiding in Lennie

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“How does this add to your understanding of women’s role within society at this time?” In this passage, Curley’s Wife is confiding in Lennie. A few lines into the extract, she asks Lennie “Ain’t I got a right to talk to nobody?”- Which could show that women at this time were told what to do, and whom they were allowed to talk to by their husbands. Women at this time were seen as having a lower status than men. Obviously Curley’s Wife does not love her husband, which is delicately shown when she tells Lennie “I don’t like Curley, he’s not a nice fella.” It is noticeable that Curley’s Wife does not have a name throughout the novel. She is only addressed as “Curley’s Wife” – her real name is never said. This has strong suggestions that women at this time were men’s possessions, as if they were used merely as objects, part of their property and didn’t have the same rights as they did – women are inferior. The phrase “I don’t know why I can’t talk to you. I ain’t doin’ no harm to you” could me shadowing how women are simply seen as either virgins or whores. Curley’s wife is portrayed as being a whore – but this is only due to the way she dresses, her provocative ways and the way she acts around men, as if she is aware of her femininity. This could suggest that she is only like this because she is bored, like it is something to do – something interesting for a change. She is constantly trying to get people to notice her. But, because of Lennie’s purity and innocence, he doesn’t see her in the way other men do – a sexual object. When Steinbeck quotes “And because she had confided in him, she moved closer to Lennie and sat beside him”, it is clear to the audience that Curley’s Wife is using her sexuality as an object to create some sort of excitement for herself. Another obvious point in this extract is the confession of how she “coulda made somethin’” of herself.

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