• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How is Curley's Wife presented in 'Of Mice and Men'? Do you find her portrayal a sympathetic one?

Extracts from this document...


How is Curley's Wife presented in 'Of Mice and Men'? Do you find her portrayal a sympathetic one? In of mice and men, Curley's Wife is presented in many various ways. At first impression, she comes across as the seductive, troublemaker the ranchers see her as. However, as the story progresses, we learn that this is only one of many sides to a very lonely woman. The readers sympathy for this character also changes throughout the novel, as her secrets are revealed and the real Curley's Wife is found. Curley's Wife is a very complex character. The reader's first impression of her is created before she actually appears in the book. We find out what the workers think of Curley's Wife through Candy when George and Lennie first arrive at the ranch. Candy, who considers Curley's Wife to be the reason for everything wrong in the whole of Soledad, creates an image of Curley's Wife in the reader's mind as a flirtatious tramp who's "got the eye." ...read more.


and calls her several names including "jail bait," Rat trap" and a "bitch," which proves this is how she is first presented in the book. In Curley's Wife's second appearance in Crooks' room, the reader discovers why Curley's Wife acts as such a temptress, and begins to feel sympathy for the character when it is discovered she is in fact extremely lonely. We learn that she uses flirting and seduction as a way of gaining attention and spending time with others. She uses the excuse of looking for Curley to find some company, but then slips up, admitting she knew where Curley had really went. She then begins to become more aggressive when they ask her to leave, saying "Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?" She also begins to snap back at the men and "flares up," throwing them insults, calling them "bindle stiffs" and confesses again to her loneliness by asking herself why she is even talking to them, "an' likin' it because they ain't nobody else." ...read more.


Steinbeck never names Curley's Wife so she is defined by her relationship to Curley and not as an individual person with her own name. Her namelessness also reinforces how insignificant she is on the ranch and how little she is respected by the others. In her aggressiveness and frustration, Curley's Wife lowers herself to blackmailing Crooks, ("You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?") showing that even though she is insignificant and disrespected, she still has power and control over them to get whatever she wants. Her confrontation in Crooks' room is the first time Curley's Wife mentions her dream, which is revealed in more detail nearer her murder. She tells Lennie, Crooks and Candy "A guy tol' me he could put me in pitchers..." Later in the novel, Curley's Wife appears again. This time, she is alone with Lennie in the stable. She is wearing her cotton dress with the red ostrich feather mules again, signifying what is to come. When he tells her he's not supposed to talk to her, she asks him "why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awfully lonely." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay is developing very well but peters out here, quite incomplete, just before Curley's wife dies. Very little is said about what she means to Curley or his jealousy of her speaking to other men.

There is little context given in the introduction, yet the social context of the novel, including attitudes to race and gender, is important in understanding how Curley's wife is presented. There is no attempt at a conclusion, where the main findings of the analysis could be summarised.

Sentence and paragraph construction are mostly well managed and quotations are skilfully incorporated into the essay. In all, the essay represents some promising work but more needs to be done.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 10/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE John Steinbeck essays


    I felt like wanted when their were talking to me and had some attention. I hate when people ask me to leave and say that they don't want any trouble, how am I giving them a trouble? I want to speak to people and feel wanted instead of being alone by myself all day.

  2. 'Of Mice And Men' - Curley's wife in many ways is the most sympathetic ...

    He eventually grabs a hold of her and gives a quick violent shake, which results in the death of Curley's wife. Curley's wife has great difficulty in finding someone that she could talk to. The men on the ranch try to avoid her because they think she will get them into trouble.

  1. Of Mice and Men - The differences between the book and the film.

    that Aunt Clara gave him): "I like to pet things with my fingers sof' things." Curley's wife tries to struggle away from Lennie, he panics and accidentally kills her. In the film, after Lennie runs away because he killed Curley wife his hat is found next to the body.

  2. "Compare and contrast the way Curley's wife is portrayed in the novel and the ...

    she is impressing him by her talent and also makes a small grand gesture with her arm and

  1. Good Night Mister Tom - Quick Chapter summary.

    which is bad news Tom got to London and caurght the bus to Wills house The siron goes off Tom meats a lady who knew Will The lady thinks his mother is not even fond of him They all go to house and Sammy finds a locked door under the

  2. Steinbeck's portrayal of women in "Of Mice and Men"

    Being Roon 2 forced to live in places they didn't wish, doing things they didn't do. Women definitely were treated unfairly and Steinbeck portrayed this accurately.

  1. How is Curley's wife presented in "Of Mice and Men"?

    This may be foreshadowing of events to come. And how Curley's wife will play a key role in George and Lennie?s downfall. First, George has to warn Lennie about Curley, who is also a potential threat. Then, George must caution Lennie to avoid Curley's wife, telling him to avoid "the rat-trap".

  2. Of Mice and Men- Crooks' Relationships controlled assessment.

    Crooks and Candy's relationship conveys that racism exists even amongst the mere outsiders themselves, in this case the older generation (Candy). Upon arrival at Crook's door, Candy deliberately doesn't enter as he is aware of the taboo which this could cause.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work