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Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men How is Curley's wife presented in the 1939 & 1992 films of 'Of Mice and Men'? 'Of Mice and Men' was originally a novel by John Steinback which was written in 1937. It was also made into a film in 1939, and then later in 1992. It is a tale of the friendship between two men, George and Lennie, who have travelled to work on a ranch together and how their friendship is put to the test. Curley's wife is important to the story because the tragedy is built up around her, and she is the one who destroys George and Lennie's friendship. In the films, if not in the book, I think she's one of the most important characters. In both films an extra scene has been added by the director to give you a clearer picture than the book provides, of her point of view and how she acts around men, and she is portrayed differently in both. In the 1939 film, the extra scene is set in the barn, with Curley's wife (May) playing with a puppy. Curley and his father are outside talking about her. Curley is saying how he doesn't trust her, but his father is defending her, saying Curley should 'Let her alone for a minute' and she over-hears them. In this scene the picture is framed so we watch her listening to the others, and the camera angle stays the same throughout the scene. ...read more.


They are brought together by a dead puppy in their final scene together. Also the way May talks to Curley in the 1939 extra scene is like the way she talked about him to Lennie in the 1992 scene. The 1939 extra scene is added to try to show you that Curley's wife is sweet and innocent and that people have got the wrong idea about her. It shows you the kind of life she has with Curley and what she has to put up with and this makes you feel sorry for her. The 1992 extra scene, on the other hand, has been added to show you that the people on the ranch have got the right idea about her, that she's pushy and up for anything. It gives you the impression she'll do anything she can to get what she wants. Both films have the same final scene, when Curley's wife flirts with Lennie and he accidentally kills her, but they are acted out differently- because of when they were filmed. In 1939 they weren't able to show some of the things that the 1992 film could show. The 1939 final scene starts with Curley's wife running away. The reason why she'd want to run away is shown in the 1939 extra scene, by the way Curley treats her and how everyone on the ranch has got the wrong idea about her. ...read more.


Then in the 1939 scene the camera suddenly goes to her feet and you see them go lifeless. The film doesn't actually show her face- or how the death happens, because that would also have seemed inappropriate in 1939. But in the 1992 scene it shows Lennie shaking her and you see her whole body go limp. He shakes her because he's angry with her. Maybe because she isn't responding he thinks she doesn't understand what he's trying to say, which frustrates him- just like the puppy, and after her death he acts exactly like he did when he killed the puppy. Also, in the 1992 film, as soon as Curley's wife is dead, a pigeon starts flapping, and then flies off the beams in the barn and escapes, and I think it reminds Lennie of what George had told him- that if anything bad happens he must escape off the ranch. I also think it has a deeper meaning aswell, and that it symbolises Curley's wife who is finally free from Curley, and the ranch. Curley's wife is portrayed differently in the 1939 and the 1992 films, because of the attitudes of society, and the people who would watch the film. In the 1939 scenes, she's showed to be an innocent young woman, with a dream of finding fame and fortune. In the 1992 scenes, she's shown to be pushy, sexually aggressive and unfaithful, a character that deserves what she gets. Vicky Harris ...read more.

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