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Curley's wife is a tart. Discuss.

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Curley's wife is a tart. Discuss. In this essay I am going to examine whether Curley's wife is a tart or not. I will consider how some of the other characters in this novel, Of Mice and Men, perceive her. Using this information I will draw a conclusion about her personality and nature. A tart is defined as someone who dresses up gaudily and exposes her body features to attract the opposite sex. It is usually described for someone who is a prostitute. John Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife, as a tart at the beginning of the novel, however as it progresses the way he presents her is opposite. At the end of the novel we see that she presents herself as a tart because of the intense loneliness she experiences. She seems to always to want to get attention from the other men, however this does not happen the way she wants it to because everyone she approaches rejects her. Steinbeck does not give her a name because she is treated like a possession by Curley and is not expected to have her own personality. Curley controls her and everything she does Curley wants to know. He is too possessive over her. Although the other people on the ranch notice her, they do not communicate with her for fear of Curley's anger. It is sad that she cannot communicate with the men and that; there are no women on the ranch for her to befriend and talk to. She is a vulnerable and a miserable, immature woman who is desperate for love and companionship. ...read more.


When she first appears the author uses short sentences, which make her features stand out. Her behaviour and attitude is also a major influence to how see is seen as. She wears "her fingernails red" and "she has a little bouquet of ostrich feathers in the insteps of her mules. There are many signs of her flirtatious nature such as, "thrusting her body forward" in the doorway when George and Lennie are introduced. Her "full rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made" shows that she is always seeking attention, and is very flirtatious. The way she dresses is a sign of passion. This could be an omen that she is dangerous. The colour red also refers to prostitution." she wore a red house cotton dress." She talks to Lennie and George when she does not know them. "She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward." She tries to interact with George and Lennie however George tries to avoid her. "Her voice had a nasal, brittle quality." She sounds masculine. This is the opposite of her feminine appearance. This could also be a sign that she is suffering in some way and is anxious. As the novel develops we begin to understand why she behaves in a enthralling manner we begin to adapt our view of her. Our views change as we begin to see what she is like inside. If she had more trust and confidence in her mother then maybe she would have been a different person. ...read more.


In conclusion, I think she comes across to others as a tart because she is lonely and isolated from others. She only wants companionship and trust, which Lennie achieves to give her. She wants to be like everybody else, normal, free, and care for. She only tries to seeks attention in a sexual manner because of the way she is treated by Curley.Steinbeck's letter to the actress is a useful document to help us understand her true character. It is a good reference as it explains her childhood and how she was bought up. She is described as an innocent girl who is corrupted. The author describes her coming from an uneasy background and her being mistreated. " A natural trustfulness broke through constantly and every time it did, she got hurt. "Now, she was trained by threat not only at home but by other kids. And any show of fear or weakness brought an instant persecution." She was learning to stand up to herself and became hardest when she was most frightened. Steinbeck describes her sexual life as her having none except with Curley. He described her as being a "little starved" and she had no feminine companionship. This is why when she was frightened she would become malicious and outspoken for. Inside she was a nice and kind girl. She was described as respectful and faithful, if she was treated right. The author tried to tell readers that you need to put trust in people and at the same time, you should be independent. You should talk about your feelings rather than keeping them in. Opening up may help you to feel more comfortable and happier and there is no need to isolate yourself from others because everyone yearns for companionship. ...read more.

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