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Explore the way Curleys wife is presented and developed in Of Mice and Men

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Introduction

Explore the way Curley?s wife is presented and developed in ?Of Mice and Men? John Steinbeck, in his novella ?Of Mice and Men?, deliberately presents Curley?s wife as a character with no appellation, this pushes away the relationship between her and the reader. The fact that she has no appellation indicates to us that she is a generalised woman; a typecast of women in the 1930?s America, in which women were expected to stay at home to fulfil their housewife ?duties?. Her appellation also indicates to us that she is the property of Curley, this dehumanizes her, she is thought of as an object. Steinbeck first presents Curley?s wife as a flirtatious ?tart?, and then develops her as a dangerous, vulnerable, and fragile character. Steinbeck ensures that the reader feels unsympathetic towards her in the inception, and throughout the novella, and then allows the reader to feel slightly sympathetic just afore her death, as we find out she is just a lonely woman full of dreams that are shattered. ...read more.

Middle

Curley?s wife is at times, a viciously unpleasant woman. In chapter 4, she enters Crooks Bunk house, after she is confronted by the three grown men, Lennie, Candy, and Crooks, she reduces Lennie and Candy to ?toneless?nothing?. Then refers to Crooks as a ?Nigger?. This is extremely shocking, particularly to a modern audience whereas in the 1930?s the audience would find it conventional. Curley?s wife has deliberately picked on Crooks, as he?s complexion is described as black, and therefore socially weaker. Indeterminately, she has more power than him. This exposure of weakness ultimately concludes with Curley?s wife threatening to have Crooks ?strung up?. The fact that she is threatening to lie, and cry rape, to have an innocent man killed for no appropriate reason, paints her in a profoundly negative light. After this, it makes Curley?s wife highly unpredictable throughout the rest of the novella as Steinbeck has instantly developed her from being a flirtatious ?tart?, to being an evil woman, the reader cannot predict what she will be like further into the novella. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Curley?s wife death, the reader feels sympathetic towards her, as the reader recently finds out that she was just a lonely woman full of shattered dreams. As soon as Candy walks into the scene, the readers sympathy for the dead woman disappears as the reader realises that Lennie, George, and Cady?s American dream ?have it all in one month? is now no longer in reach, it has been destroyed. Curley?s wife has represented the death of dreams as she is the reason for this. Unlike Lennie, Curley?s wife had no excuse of being ?mentally slow? so should have controlled her herself and therefore it is her fault, the reader regrets having sympathy for her. Curley?s wife is a very unique character; she is not a typical 1930?s woman, as she is always outside of her house making her unable to carry out her ?duties?, whereas a typical 1930?s woman would always stay at home fulfilling their housewife ?duties?. Curley?s wife should have been interpreted as a typical 1930?s woman. ...read more.

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