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Curley's Wife Presentation in 'Of Mice And Men'

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Curley?s Wife Of Mice and Men is not kind in its portrayal of women. In fact, women are treated with contempt throughout the course of the novella. . Steinbeck generally portrays women as trouble makers who bring ruin on men and drive them mad. Curley?s wife, the only woman in the play, is a prime example of this destructive tendency as she walks round the ranch depicted as a temptress. Steinbeck?s initial portrayal of Curley?s wife shows her to be manipulative and flirtatious as she brings evil into men?s lives by tempting them in a way they cannot resist. Steinbeck has used the character of Curley?s wife to give the reader a full insight of women in the, male-dominated, world of the 1930s. Curley?s Wife is first presented to us through the dialogue of ranch-hand Candy, when he describes her to George. We can she has little freedom and individuality as, it is not just here but, throughout the whole novella she is defined by her role, just a possession without a name and is known only by the company of the man she doesn?t even like. ...read more.


In order to make herself feel bigger she has to seek out those who are smaller. Another reason for her cruel behaviour is her profound loneliness as she is clearly using them to relieve her boredom. Further on Curley?s Wife becomes more and more malicious especially when she says ? What am I doin?? Standin here talkin? to... a nigger...a dum dum and a lousy ol? sheep? her vicious attack on the three men show how loneliness can not only change a person, but destroy them. All of the emotions Curley?s wife encounters, in section 4, come as a result of the loneliness she feels, and these clearly represent of what a terrifying character she is. As a woman in the Great Depression, Curley?s Wife has never experienced control therefore when she is being incredibly spiteful shows that the control she has over the men overwhelmed her as her derogatory comments are exceptionally offensive. Towards the end of the novel Steinbeck manages to alter the reader?s perception of Curley?s wife by portraying her in a different light than earlier on. In her conversation with Lennie Curley?s Wife describes her past dreams and they way they have come to nothing when she ...read more.


Now the reader sees her simplicity and her innocence. This might lead us to suggest that Steinbeck portrays Curlety?s Wife the way she is seen through the eyes of the men on the ranch. They are isolated, starved of affection and see her presence as a constant reminder of what they do not have ? a woman, a family, the American Dream. Steinbeck says she was ?very pretty and simple? in her death which suggests Steinbeck sees life as something that can turn a person bitter and cruel and to succeed happiness and prosperity in the Great Depression, in some cases, was death. Curley?s Wife is an example of how our perception of a character can change without the character actually changing. Our first perception of her as an imposing villain have all changed at the time of her death when her character evolves and her sweeter, more vulnerable side is shown making her death pitiful. Steinbeck?s ?Of Mice and Men? shows a society of men hardened by their circumstances where they will turn on those less fortunate than themselves for survival just like the misogyny aimed at Curley?s wife, the woman who didn?t even deserve a name. ...read more.

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