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How is Curleys wife presented and developed within the novel "Of mice and men"?

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Introduction

How is Curley?s wife presented and developed within the novel? Curley?s wife is portrayed as the recently married, young wife of the boss?s son, Curley . To the reader?s knowledge, she?s the only woman on the ranch, and lives in a male dominated environment, surrounded by the ranch hands.. She is probably in her mid- twenties and seemingly comes from a working class background, and speaks in the same colloquial manner as the men, suggesting a basic education. We know little about her family except for her mother with whom she doesn?t seem to enjoy a positive relationship. She appears at various points in the novel, supposedly, under the pretext of ?looking for curley? and we are led to believe that she is unhappily married. ...read more.

Middle

It seems from the outset Steinbeck intends to portray her in a negative light. This perhaps make the reader take an instant dislike to her and also conveys to us her apparent need for male attention. This would suggest that she is neglected by her husband and so, seeks attention from elsewhere. Using her sexuality is the only way of her getting this. However the other men do not seem to have a particularly high opinion of her and see her as ?jailbait? and someone who would lead them into great trouble. Being the only woman on the ranch, Curley?s wife is lonely and sad ?her marriage to Curley makes this worse, she wanders around the ranch, ?aimlessly? and she?s always ?looking for Curley? for an excuse to escape her unhappy marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Does this seem to suggest that she does not have a separate, individual identity apart from being Curley?s wife? This could make her appear one dimensional at the beginning until we learn more about her life. As the novel progresses we learn more about her dreams about escaping from the narrow life in this small town of salinas and becoming a film star. She longs to have a carefree lifestyle consisting of being pampered, wearing pretty dresses and most importantly being admired. Ironically, it is to lennie that she pours out her heart, the only man on the ranch who can not really understand her situation. Initially, in the novel, Curley?s wife is seen as the possession of her husband and no name is given to her. ...read more.

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