Linda Caengprasath 10S
Impressions of Curely’s Wife
John Steinbeck sees Curleys wife as ‘nice girl’ and not a ‘floozy’ however in the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’, Steinbeck introduces the character of Curley’s wife; she could be interpreted as a mis-fitting character in the novel. In the novel Curley’s wife is probably the most loathed on the ranch, the way she looks and acts lead others on the ranch to see her as a ‘tart’. Additionally Curley might be the reason of Curley’s wife behavior; Curley’s wife is clearly lonely in the novel because Curley doesn’t pay much attention to her. The lack of attention from Curley forces her to seek it elsewhere. She flirts with the other characters on the ranch but they pay her no attention either. This essay will go on to look at the character of Curley’s wife and how characters perceive her.
When first introduced to Curley’s wife in the novel she comes into the bunkhouse, when both Lennie and George are in there. She is apparently looking for Curly but she already knows that new men have arrived. Steinbeck gives a detailed description of her as she stands in the doorway of the bunkhouse and talks to Lennie and George. She is ‘heavily made up’, with red fingernails and wore a ‘cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers’. This clearly shows that Curley’s wife was wearing quite a lot of red. Wearing might just be the color that Curley’s wife enjoys wear, however wearing red might indicate danger towards Lennie and George and especially Lennie because when referring back to the incident back in weed the girl that Lennie harm was also wearing a red dress. As a result the color red symbolizes danger and therefore it foreshadows that there might be a conflict between Curley, Curley’s wife and Lennie and George. Also Curley's Wife feels she must dress this way for people to acknowledge her and give her attention. Her dressing-up is entirely unnecessary because they live on a farm and this is not the typical clothing. The way she dresses/makes herself up proves her insecurity and her inability to feel good about whom she really is.