Explore the way in which Steinbeck presents the relationships between between Curleys Wife and other characters in Of Mice and Men

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Matthew Peers

Explore the way in which Steinbeck presents the relationships between between Curley’s Wife and other characters in Of Mice and Men

        In the book Of Mice and Men the author John Steinbeck presents Curley’s Wife dramatically different to his other characters. Throughout the story she remains nameless, only known as ‘Curley’s Wife’ and yet she is constantly mentioned around the ranch. She wanders around gaining many different reactions from ‘she’s purty’ to ‘married a tart’. By presenting us with only one female character Steinbeck is suggesting that their is no real place for women on the ranch and their role in society is made clear. Steinbeck also never gives Curley’s Wife a name, this presents her as being Curley’s possession and nothing more.

        Curley’s Wife is introduced not by here appearance but in conversation between George and Candy. She is the only character Steinbeck introduces in this way, that is by being spoken of and described in detail, before being met by George and Lennie. In chapter 2 Candy begins to describe Curley’s relationship with his wife. ‘Married two weeks and got the eye? Maybe that’s why Curley’s pants is full of ants.’ Steinbeck tells us here that the couple do not have a strong relationship at all and suggests that Curley’s Wife has become bored with her new husband and she has turned to the ranch hands, perhaps to make Curley jealous. The reader expects a close affectionate relationship between Curley and his wife but Steinbeck presents it completely differently and this makes the reader feel slightly hostile towards Curley’s Wife.

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        In chapter 4 this hostility is intensified during the scene between Curley’s Wife and the ‘Weak one’ Lennie, Candy and Crooks. She refers to them as the ‘Weak ones’, ‘They left all the weak ones here’, but she is also referring to herself as being one of societies ‘weak ones‘. The woman, the mentally challenged, the old and the negro are all people who everyone in society seems to have forgotten about.

        When she enters Crooks’s room Curley’s Wife, is at first, her usual self, flirting with the men and wanting to talk. But as the men become more and ...

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A well-structured essay which explores the various facets of Curley's wife. The quotations and examples used in order to support the points made are appropriate. There is very good reference to audience response as well as reference to the structure of the novel with comparisons being made between sections. Some points could be developed further and specific English terminology could be used more. There is also a need to proof-read and make some corrections.