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How does Steinbeck present the character of Curley in Of Mice and Men?

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Introduction

How does Steinbeck present the character of Curley in Of Mice and Men? In Of Mice and Men Steinbeck mainly presents Curley as a mean person who wants authority on the ranch. Although this makes Curley a more hated character, Steinbeck makes it clear to the reader that Curley is only mean as a result of being lonely. This loneliness of Curley was typical of men on ranches in 1930s America. Curley wants to get more authority on the ranch. When we first see Curley, he is described as closing his hands "into fists" and stiffening his back "into a slight crouch" after looking at Lennie, showing the reader that Curley wants more authority over him. ...read more.

Middle

This shows the reader two things: that Curley is aggressive (because of the fight he picks with Lennie) and that Curley wants to be more respected (as Curley may have just been fighting Lennie to show the other ranchers that he's not a man who is easily intimidated and picked on). Although Curley is married, Steinbeck makes it clear to the reader that Curley has no emotions towards his wife. After the death of Curley's wife, Curley does not touch his wife nor does he stay with her. This suggests to the reader that Curley kept his wife purely for his sexual desires, just like many men in 1930s America. This further increases the hatred towards Curley, as it shows the reader that Curley did not respect nor love his wife. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Curley first sees George and Lennie, he says "so it's that way" after finding out why George and Lennie are together. Steinbeck makes Curley say this in a very empty tone to emphasise the fact that Curley cannot understand why George and Lennie are travelling together. This makes it clear to the reader that Curley has not had the same type of friendship as George and Lennie have had, so he is quite lonely. This makes the reader feel slightly sympathetic towards Curley. In Of Mice and Men, the main way Steinbeck presents Curley is aggressive and mean. Although this makes Curley a more hated character, Steinbeck shows the reader that Curley is mean as a result of loneliness. This loneliness was typical of men on ranches in America in the 1930s. ...read more.

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