Weak Characters in of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men is not kind in its portrayal of women. In fact, women are treated with contempt throughout the course of the book. Steinbeck generally portrays women as troublemakers who bring ruin on men and drive them sane. Curley’s wife, who walks the ranch as a temptress, seems to be a prime example of this destructive tendency. Curley’s wife emerges as a relatively complex and interesting character. Although her purpose is rather simple in the book’s opening pages—she is the “tramp,” “tart”, and “bitch” that threatens to destroy male happiness and longevity—her appearances later in the novella become more complex. When she confronts Lennie, Candy, and Crooks in the stable, she admits to feeling a kind of shameless dissatisfaction with her life. Her vulnerability at this moment and later—when she admits to Lennie her dream of becoming a movie star—makes her utterly human and much more interesting than the stereotypical vixen in fancy red shoes. However, it also reinforces the novella’s grim worldview. In her moment of greatest vulnerability, Curley’s wife seeks out even greater weaknesses in others, preying upon Lennie’s mental handicap, Candy’s debilitating age, and the color of Crooks’s skin in order to steel herself against harm. Steinbeck also presents Curley's wife as a doll 'her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages' which has the effect of objectifying her. We also find out that Curley's wife is used in the book. She was picked up by somebody who said they were going to make her a movie star, and then they didn't send her a letter, showing how she was a 'pushover' and naïve, and then Curley found her, and made her his wife, and that is the only identity Steinbeck gives her in the book(as the wife of Curley) which I think emphasises he does to show her as an inferior by not giving her a personal identity so that we cannot relate to her- she is

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