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How does Steinbeck Present Curley's Wife?

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Steinbeck uses a variety of techniques to portray Curley?s Wife in different ways, including colour imagery, metaphors and similes; he also uses foreshadowing and prejudicing at the start of the novel to give an opinion of her before she is even introduced into the novel as a character. Steinbeck first presents Curley?s Wife in a negative way, with the reader being introduced to her by Candy saying ?well- she got the eye? which has several connotations, including her need for sexual attention from men. This makes the reader immediately judge Curley?s wife and stereotype her as a lonely women wanting sexual attraction. Steinbeck presents her in this manner as a sign of potential foreshadowing as the reader knows Lennie has had previous trouble with girls so he wants to show that there may be an incident between Curley?s Wife and Lennie later in the novel. She is also presented as a flirt, as she enters the bunkhouse for the first time in the novel, she ?playfully? says ?if he ain?t, I guess I better look some place else?. This shows that she is playful and flirts with the other men on the ranch. It also shows that she is sexually driven, as she does not know how to communicate with men without flirting with them, or giving them ?the eye? which means that it seems she is cheating with, or wants to cheat with, a particular person. ...read more.


She says to Crooks ?listen nigger, you know what I could do to you if you open your trap? You know what I could do?? this is a normality in 1930s America, and therefore there is no reaction from the other men in the room, and therefore Curley?s Wife assumes command of all the men in the room, especially Crooks. ?Well you keep your place then, nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so fast it ain?t even funny?. This verbal assault is a result of her feeling powerless and alone, and as racism was a socially acceptable thing at the time, she uses this to assert her limited power on Crooks to make her feel better about herself. Curley?s Wife is depicted as a lonely character later in the novel ?I get lonely? as she is the only woman on the ranch, and she is also seemed to have been taken advantage of, as the other men have gone to visit a brothel on the Saturday night, and Curley, despite being married, has gone with them. This shows that women were not valued very highly in 1930s America, and were deemed almost as property to husbands or boyfriends. This is emphasised by Curley?s Wife not having a name, and that the only person to give her a compliment was Slim saying ?hey good looking?. ...read more.


This majorly emphasises the fact that women were considered property, and where of lower status than men. In the 1930s women did not have many rights and did not have many choices and no career prospects, and she must stay at home, and raise children and clean, and therefore Curley?s Wife feels lonely and is always looking for an excuse to leave the house and attract the attention of the other men as she wants somebody to talk to. In Of Mice and Men, Curley?s Wife was victimised by Curley, verbally abused by the other men, especially George, and is never able to fulfil her dreams of becoming an actress in the movies. This shows the meaning of the title of the novel which comes from a poem called ?to a mouse? by Robert Burns; "The best laid plans of mice and men often go askew.? this means that plans will go wrong, and each person in the novel had plans but they all went wrong in the end. Curley?s Wife?s life is ended and with it all of George and Lennie?s dreams and her own, and Candy blames her for it all and believes she is happy about it. All in all, Curley?s Wife is mainly portrayed as a tart for the majority of the novel, but is also presented as a victim and as lonely at the end, and compassionate to Lennie, shortly before she dies. ...read more.

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