Explore the ways Steinbeck creates sympathy for and dislike of Curleys wife.

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Explore the ways Steinbeck creates sympathy for and dislike of Curley’s wife.

In the novella ‘Of mice and men’, Steinbeck introduces the complex character of Curley’s wife who evokes a mixture of emotions in the reader. Steinbeck uses various techniques to portray her character which creates both dislike and sympathy for her. As the story progresses, the reader’s perception of Curley’s wife is emphasized further.

Curley’s wife is merely referred to as Curley’s wife. Her lack of identity implies that she is only an item to Curley and not an actual person. This illustrates a huge lack of respect for her. As a woman in the 1930’s, she would be socially inferior to men and perhaps Steinbeck portrays Curley’s wife in this light to allow the reader to recognize the inferior role of women.

Hence, the reader presumes that Curley’s wife is an insignificant character and is not as important as the other men. This makes the reader feel considerate towards her as she is neglected and overlooked a lot of the time.

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Curley’s wife is presented as weak and occasionally vulnerable. Ultimately, this leads to her downfall. The reader develops an initial deception of her in chapter 2. For instance, she is described as ‘heavily made up’ and ‘her body was thrown forward’. Steinbeck has focused on her flirtatious, inviting body language which suggests the significance of her need to be admired by men.

Steinbeck describes her ‘throwing her body forward’ as it highlights to the reader her need for physical attention. ‘Thrown’ is a powerful verb that depicts her intent to show off her body and attract men. The adverb ‘heavily’ ...

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