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The Outsider (Of Mice and Men)

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Introduction

The Outsider Of Mice and Men is a classic novel written by one of the world's most illustrious writers, John Steinbeck. John Steinbeck wrote a naturalistic novel which dealt with many powerful and universal themes including the value of dreams and goals, friendship and also "outsiders", which means individuals who do not fit into the mainstream of society. The novel also illustrates the significance of moral responsibility, the veracity of social injustice and also solitude. His novel "Of Mice and Men" is a story taking place around the 1930s during the Great Depression in California where the New York Wall Street stock market collapsed, and the rate of unemployment was very high. The great depression affected everyone, including both the rich and poor, industrial workers, farmers and so on. This novel however, portrays the life of two farmers, George Milton and Lennie Small. The themes of the novel are important because they depict human life in a remarkable and comprehensible way relating to the dreams and constant struggles faced in life. All the characters played in the novel "Of Mice and Men" are lonesome, living an empty life everyday consisting of mainly hard labor. The characters all live a very disheartening life, with the lack of happiness, love and affection in their lives. ...read more.

Middle

George fumes when he knows of Lennie's admiration of her being one who is "purty" and fiercely tells him not to even "take a look at that bitch" and refers to her as "poison" and "jail bait" and to leave her alone. It is obvious that she longs for friends and for someone to talk to, however, males on the ranch dislike her because they see has as one who is a magnet to trouble. George, especially foreshadows future problems between Lennie and Curley's wife because Lennie got into trouble in Weed from trying to touch a lady wearing a red dress. As the story progresses, we learn more about Curley's wife. We learn that her husband does not trust her with the other ranch workers, being isolated from the community in the ranch and because of that, must feel really despondent and alone. Curley's wife is given a reputation of creating trouble between the different characters in the novel. Most of the men in the ranch rarely sees females, only recognizing females who go to town to a "whore-house". This then reveals the stereotypical view on women as that of a "whore". Curley's wife states "I never get to talk to anyone. I get awful lonely". This shows that being the only female leaves her with the lack of companionship especially when she is being disliked by other characters in the novel and not being truly loved by her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

From this it shows how unsatisfied she is with her mother's decision and how she really wished she had been able to pursue her dream. She thinks her talent is merely waiting for an opportunity and that her mother has stolen the letter which represents her chance for fame. Steinbeck describes precisely "the small grand gesture" with which she demonstrates to Lennie her supposed talent. This shows how na�ve she is to believe that her mother has stolen her contract, which was obviously never written. When she received no letter from the actor, she married Curley. However, she has always wanted to make some accomplishments and loved attention. Throughout the novel she constantly wanders around the ranch, creating trouble. When she was killed by Lennie, her dreams ended. Lennie, Candy and Curley's wife were not capable of having their dreams come true but stayed hopeful. From the many incidents that the characters in the novel encounter, it is shown how big dreams often cause tragedies and are sometimes unrealistic. In the novel as a whole, she is represented as the marginalized and disempowered part of society. She uses her status and power to intimidate people in the ranch. Overall, Curley's wife is presented as a flirtatious, lonely young woman who is very discontented with life. Readers who read the book would evoke sympathy for her because of her sad situation and cruel husband, but also dislike her because of her flirtatious and mean attitude. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

In this insightful essay, the character of Curley's wife is carefully examined in terms of her position as an outsider. Several of the episodes where she appears are discussed and illuminated with well-made points, supported by strong references from the text. Sentence and paragraph structure are mostly well-managed. The main findings are summarised in the concluding paragraph.

4 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 10/06/2013

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