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Do you think that Curley and his Wife Make a Good Couple?

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Introduction

Do you think that Curley and his Wife Make a Good Couple? Over the course of the novel it becomes clear that the relationship between Curley and his wife is far from the typical picture perfect hearts and flowers romance that a "good" marriage should be. Through their insecurities and loneliness they are bonded, yet in their character and emotional state, they are completely separate. Steinbeck's novel is set during the American depression, a time in which ranching became the crucial way of life for a large proportion of the population. At the time, the ranch owner - "the Boss", held a huge amount of power that shaped the lives of the men who worked for him. He provided accommodation, paid wages and offered an alternative to the completely bleak and lonely existence that these mostly single men, without a family and without any other companion, would otherwise face. It could be said that he had the power of life or death over these men. Curley, being the Boss' son, understood that he had an authority over the other men that allowed him to be the "mean little bastard" that he was. ...read more.

Middle

This reveals a nastier, darker side to her personality, one that makes it clear that she will do whatever she must to get by in a world dominated by men. This aspect of her nature is in stark contrast to the girly, high spirited and hopeful side we see as she talks of "making the pitchers" and of the guy who said "he was gonna put me in the movies" and "soon's he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it." Here she seems vulnerable and full of emotion- so much more human than the woman who only moments previously threatened to get Crooks lynched. We know that the relationship between Curley and his wife is far from perfect; one is always out looking for the other. Though this may be an excuse for his wife to talk to the ranch hands, the very fact that she has become this desperate for company highlights the gulf between them. The lack of communication between them means that the only relationship that they share is one of a physical nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

Neither Curley, nor his wife has the power, the strength of personality or the will to go on without "support" or at least love. Curley is depicted as a character with an evil, twisted temperament who thrives upon power. Although our first impression of his wife is far from "good", she is not evil- she is merely used to emphasise Steinbeck's depiction of women as being trouble makers that bring ruin on man- Curley's temper having worsened since their marriage and her role as a temptress being solely to get men locked up, or lynched. However different to one another, both characters are emotionally unstable, they don't have the strength to support one another and so the chances of a relationship between the two working out are minimal. Indeed, at the end of the novel, when Curley realises that his wife is dead, instead of a feeling of deep hurt or loss that one usually feels after losing a close one, he immediately feels the need for revenge and so goes ahead to hunt Lennie down- his feelings of anger and to "get his own back" being stronger than the love he felt for his wife or sorrow ar her loss. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rozina Bashir ...read more.

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