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How are Crooks and Curley's wife presented and developed in the novel "Of mice and men"?

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Introduction

An important theme running throughout ?Of Mice and Men? by John Steinbeck is of loneliness. Two pivotal characters are shown in particular as examples of this theme. The first character is ?Curley?s Wife? and the second is the stable buck, ?Crooks.? Both for their own individual reasons are deprived the attention, love and compassion that they crave. They are the most perfect examples of loneliness in the novel and they are presented as characters in contrast to George and Lennie ? who live on the companionship that they share. Curley?s wife had hastily married Curley to escape living with her mother. Since marrying Curley, his wife has been ignored by him, not receiving the satisfaction of marriage both emotionally and physically. She does not receive the love, attention or companionship from Curley so sets out to seek the attention of other ranch men. ...read more.

Middle

but had her dreams crushed when she was not given the letter by her mother. But during the conversation, the reader is given the impression that Curley?s wife is cherishing that moment of dialogue with Lennie ? although he may not be on top of the hierarchy of men in the ranch. She speaks of the lack of companionship that she suffers from when asking Lennie, ?Why can?t I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. It gets awfully lonely.? At this point the reader can sense the grief that Curley?s wife feels in the tone of her voice. The desired effect from Steinbeck may be for the reader to feel sympathy towards Curley?s wife. We learn that Curley?s wife is not an evil figure and only behaves in the way she does, is to grab the attention of the men around her. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example is with his encounter with Curley?s wife. ?You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?? The reader here is made to feel sympathy towards Crooks because of the unfair treatment that he receives. Here, he is threatened by Curley?s wife ? she threatens to accuse him of rape. The reader here is brought to terms with the unfair and cruel treatment of a lonely man in an unjust society. Overall, John Steinbeck uses these characters to make the reader realise the suffering a person can go through with loneliness. Steinbeck uses these characters in contrast to George and Lennie to stress the importance of companionship. The writer portrays the harshness of society ? the suffering a person could be made to go through if left on their own ? as Crooks found. Also, with loneliness and a thirst for love and companionship a person could lead to their own demise ? as Curley?s wife found. ...read more.

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  1. How is Curleys wife presented and developed throughout the novel?

    and she wanders around the ranch with the excuse that "she is looking for Curley". One aspect that makes us more sympathetic to her and draws us closer to her is the loneliness that consumes her life and her inhibition in finding companionship.

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