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Assess how Steinbeck presents the character of Curleys wife throughout "Of Mice and Men".

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Introduction

Asses how Steinbeck presents the character of Curley’s wife throughout Of Mice and Men. In 1937, John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men a novella about friendship during the Great Depression. The novella offers a unique and vivid insight into the lives of all social groups during the horrific collapse of the American economy. We’re given a comprehensive insight into the life of woman; a minority group in the American society. During the novella we only meet two women, Curley’s wife is one of them, a very naïve young girl. In the novella, Steinbeck uses status to make us the reader feel compassionate towards Curley’s wife and the minority group of women. Curley’s wife has limited status and to some extent freedom on the ranch because she is a woman, a social minority. “Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody, I get awful lonely” Steinbeck uses Curley’s wife’s loneliness to make us the reader feel compassionate towards her as no one wants to participate in conversation with her. ...read more.

Middle

Curley?s wife urges for attention and status on the ranch. Curley?s wife views herself higher than other people on the ranch, ?they left all the weak ones here? Curley?s wife ironically insults herself by mistake during a dispute in Crook?s bedroom. ?All the weak ones? the irony is that Curley?s wife is in essence calling herself weak. She views herself as an occupant of the ranch with high importance but in reality she is as weak if not weaker than anyone else on the ranch. Her lack of status is because she is a woman and acts in rather provocative way, whilst reading Of Mice and Men it is obvious that she carves attention. The use of the word ?weak? is interesting as it means to lack the power to perform physically demanding tasks; having little physical or mental strength. This is ironic as she is an attention-seeking child. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to make the book feel more like a piece of readable art. ...read more.

Conclusion

Steinbeck allowed us to know this by ?A girl was standing there?? which indicates that she is quite young but dresses as an older lady which portrays to us the reader that she is really innocent and rather lost in a world she doesn?t quite understand. When we first meet her we see her as a rather flamboyant, confident young woman but towards the end of the novella her persona changes. Before Curley?s wife?s tragic death she confides in Lennie and we see her youth and innocence open up to Lennie. ? He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon?s he got back to Hollywood he gonna write to me about it.? Curley?s wife opens up to Lennie about an experience she had with a man who worked in Hollywood, who promised her a career in the movies. Curley?s wife?s innocence and naivety were her own weapons of disaster. It was her innocence that sneakily leads her to her death but Steinbeck warned us about this cataclysmic event from our first introduction to Curley?s wife. ...read more.

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