How is Curley's Wife presented in 'Of Mice and Men'? Do you find her portrayal a sympathetic one?

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How is Curley's Wife presented in 'Of Mice and Men'? Do you find her portrayal a sympathetic one?

In of mice and men, Curley’s Wife is presented in many various ways. At first impression, she comes across as the seductive, troublemaker the ranchers see her as. However, as the story progresses, we learn that this is only one of many sides to a very lonely woman. The readers sympathy for this character also changes throughout the novel, as her secrets are revealed and the real Curley's Wife is found.

Curley's Wife is a very complex character. The reader's first impression of her is created before she actually appears in the book. We find out what the workers think of Curley's Wife through Candy when George and Lennie first arrive at the ranch. Candy, who considers Curley's Wife to be the reason for everything wrong in the whole of Soledad, creates an image of Curley's Wife in the reader's mind as a flirtatious tramp who's "got the eye." Candy calls her a "tart" and warns George against her, causing George, Lennie and the reader to see Curley's wife through Candy's eyes on their first encounter.

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When she finally appears for the first time, she certainly seems to live up to the image the reader expects from Candy's gossip. "She had full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red…. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of ostrich feathers." Red is known to represent love, lust and danger. By her wearing red, the reader is given another warning of the trouble she could cause. Also, her suggestive and provocative body language ("she put her hands behind her back and leaned against ...

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This essay is developing very well but peters out here, quite incomplete, just before Curley's wife dies. Very little is said about what she means to Curley or his jealousy of her speaking to other men. There is little context given in the introduction, yet the social context of the novel, including attitudes to race and gender, is important in understanding how Curley's wife is presented. There is no attempt at a conclusion, where the main findings of the analysis could be summarised. Sentence and paragraph construction are mostly well managed and quotations are skilfully incorporated into the essay. In all, the essay represents some promising work but more needs to be done. 3 stars