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Explore the way in which Steinbeck presents the relationships between between Curleys Wife and other characters in Of Mice and Men

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Introduction

Matthew Peers Explore the way in which Steinbeck presents the relationships between between Curley?s Wife and other characters in Of Mice and Men In the book Of Mice and Men the author John Steinbeck presents Curley?s Wife dramatically different to his other characters. Throughout the story she remains nameless, only known as ?Curley?s Wife? and yet she is constantly mentioned around the ranch. She wanders around gaining many different reactions from ?she?s purty? to ?married a tart?. By presenting us with only one female character Steinbeck is suggesting that their is no real place for women on the ranch and their role in society is made clear. Steinbeck also never gives Curley?s Wife a name, this presents her as being Curley?s possession and nothing more. Curley?s Wife is introduced not by here appearance but in conversation between George and Candy. She is the only character Steinbeck introduces in this way, that is by being spoken of and described in detail, before being met by George and Lennie. In chapter 2 Candy begins to describe Curley?s relationship with his wife. ?Married two weeks and got the eye? ...read more.

Middle

shown that Curley?s Wife has dreams, just like the others and in many ways she is a victim of society just like Lennie, Candy and Crooks. Near the start of the chapter Curley?s Wife enters the barn where Lennie is. She is described as ?Her face was all made up and the little sausage curls were all in place.? This makes the reader feel that Curley?s Wife?s appearance is like a uniform as the same features are referred to throughout ?red ostrich feathers? and ?cotton dresses?. The makes the reader realize that her appearance is important to her and perhaps it makes her feel special. Steinbeck continues to make the reader feel more sympathetic by her saying ?why can?t I talk to you??,?I get awful lonely?. Steinbeck also shows a different side to Curley?s Wife ?she consoled him?,?she spoke soothingly?. Here she is showing sympathy towards Lennie who she previously insulted in chapter 4. The verb consoled and the adverb soothingly really enforce to the reader her change of character. Her conversation with Lennie reveals her desperation to be with somebody which is shown by the fact that she is prepared to talk to Lennie, or she is doing it to be kind which makes the reader realize that perhaps she was only cruel in chapter 4 because she was frustrated and upset. ...read more.

Conclusion

seems sorry for her is Slim, the rest just see it as a bit of excitement ?the men burst into the barn.' Slim however is the only one who shows sympathy ?Slim went quietly over to her? ?he turned quietly to George.' Curley responds very differently, he sees her death as an excuse to hunt down Lennie ?I'll kill the big son of a bitch myself.' This is another reminder of their extremely unhappy relationship. Slim again tries to show respect by getting Curley to stay with his wife but he still wants to ?shoot the guts outta that big bastard.' This is a final reminder of the horrible, selfish man she married and how desperate she must have been to marry him. In Of Mice and Men Steinbeck uses Curley?s wife to present the theme of loneliness. Her real name is never revealed in the story, showing that she has never been considered as a real person with an identity of her own. Steinbeck gives us a last reminder of this when ?Candy squatted down in the hay and watched the face of Curley?s wife ?poor bastard? he said softly.? Even in death she is still Curley?s wife, no name just a ?poor bastard'. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A well-structured essay which explores the various facets of Curley's wife. The quotations and examples used in order to support the points made are appropriate. There is very good reference to audience response as well as reference to the structure of the novel with comparisons being made between sections. Some points could be developed further and specific English terminology could be used more. There is also a need to proof-read and make some corrections.

Marked by teacher Stephen Evans 20/03/2013

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