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What is the reader supposed to think about Curley's wife?

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Introduction

Of Mice And Men - Curley's Wife "I never seen no piece of jail-bait worse than her" (George) what is the reader supposed to think about Curley's wife? In the Steinbeck novel 'Of Mice and Men', he introduces us to the character of Curley's wife. She could be interpreted as a mis-fitting character in the novel, as no one relaters to her. This essay will go on to examine the character of Curley's wife and how characters perceive her and how this influences the readers interpretation of her. The social setting of the novel is also important, as it could later explain characters attitudes towards other people. It is set in the U.S. in the 1930s; this is the time of the Great Depression. This was a result of the First World War. It affected the rich and poor alike, factory workers and farmers, bankers and stockbrokers. In short, it affected everyone; no one was left untouched. But of all the people hurt, farmers were the worst off. John Steinbeck chose to write about farmers hoping that Americans would recognize their troubles and correct the situation. ...read more.

Middle

This shows the men's stereotypical view on women as that of a "whore". Curley's wife says "I never get to talk to anyone. I get awful lonely". This shows that being the only apparent female leaves her with a lack of companionship, especially with the other characters attitudes towards her. But when Lennie hears that he takes no notice of it. Just like she takes no notice of what Lennie says to her. Curley's wife is racist towards other people. She calls Crooks a "nigger" on numerous occasions but isn't the only person to do that. It is not just ethnic racism but physical. "They left all the weak ones here." These racist comments could be to do with her upbringing. Curley's wife may not think it is wrong. Racism was not considered a big thing at the time this novel was set, so people didn't know any better. No one trusts any one on the ranch. Not even Curley and his wife. They are always looking for each other. He started a fight when he thought that there was something going on between his wife and Slim. ...read more.

Conclusion

And Curley finally showed some caring emotion "I know who done it." "That big son-of-a-bitch done it" Is when he begins to show the love for his wife. Curley talks about going to kill Lennie, which shows that his wife may have been a big part of his life a nothing is going to replace her. Curley's wife is a difficult character to understand. Steinbeck hasn't named her; this could be for a number of reasons. He may have wanted her to be seen as lonely therefore not naming her shows no one gets close enough to her to call her by her first name. He may have done it to show the other characters only see her as the wife of Curley rather than an individual. He may also have done it to show the male attitudes towards females. Curley's wife also helps to provoke mixed emotions in the reader. We often feel sorry for her such as when she talks of her loneliness, but on other occasions the reader can find her cold hearted. This is seen when she is racist towards the other characters. Most of Steinbeck's characters are stereotypical, or have some form of a stereotypical view towards them and Curley's wife is no exception. ...read more.

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