Of Mice And Men Curley's wife

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Name: Thanos Emmanuel

Date: 10.01.2011

Class: 4 White

Task Number: 3

Title: ‘Of Mice and Men’

Number of words excluding quotes: 1100

"Well, stick around and keep your eyes open. You'll see plenty. She ain't concealin nothing. I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody. I bet she gives the stable buck the eye. I don't know what the hell she wants".

Discuss the way in which you as a reader respond to Steinbeck's presentation of Curley's wife. You need to look closely at the way in which he uses language to achieve effect.


Steinbeck in his book “Of mice and men” has predominantly used animals to present the other side of human beings that is normally found in animals. He clearly brought in the common characteristics of animals that are possessed by men and each character in this book gives the imagery of an animal. For the purpose of this assignment we shall explore the various characteristics and methods that the writer uses to describe Curley’s wife.

"Well, stick around and keep your eyes open. You'll see plenty. She ain't concealin nothing. I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody. I bet she gives the stable buck the eye. I don't know what the hell she wants".

The writer has made use of language in several occasions to draw meaning and give more sense to the piece of work and the most notable and obvious is the kind of language used which is so casual and local portraying the setting where the characters are acting in as well as their status in the society. The use of the phrase ” I never seen nobody like her” in the above opening quotation is really non standard English that possibly points at the level of education of the characters and their role in the society and clearly demonstrates that they are really casuals in a farm though they have endeavored to dream for a better future.

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        The writer has made use of figures of speech in reference to Curley’s wife and in that effect has brought about her true character in this book. He has mainly used metaphors in chapter four in reference to Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife came to look for her husband in place where Crooks and George were having some discussions the writer described her as follows: “her face was heavily made up and her lips slightly parted”. This was just an indirect reference to her frustrations and increasing concerns about her husband which the writer described using her appearance. Another metaphor just ...

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The Quality of Written Communication shown here is average. There are moments when a misuse (or overuse) of the words "just", "basically" and "really" give the answer quite a flippant feel, like the candidate is downplaying Steinbeck's novel, and this should be avoided by ignoring the aforementioned modifiers and writing in a standard grammatical format without colloquialisms.

There is plenty of analysis here, and the potential for a candidate to receive a strong B grade though, what limits them from doing so is evidence of a lack of proper understanding about the novel. Curley's wife is certainly not symbolic of "women as people who are social and can get along with almost everybody, unlike men who lack this trait", or "a strong woman who has positively represented women as a whole in the novel." This is quite clearly wrong, as Steinbeck wrote Curley's wife as the traditional subordinated woman in a patricarchal society who is stuck on the ranch permanently, with an unnatainable dream that she is oppressed from achieving. Candidates will do well to realise this as it is a key element of the novel. A further issue preventing this answer from the top marks region is the digression from what the question actually asks. There is a vague appraoch to it, but very little specific detail is offered. The presentation of Steinbeck's language is key to understanding Curley's wife. She is seen as something of a social superior in marriage to Curley but it is she who elevates her status higher than she should, and this is shown in the way she speaks - her dialect and accent are identical to the ranch-hands and this shows her cultural ties with the bottom of society; that she can never hope to improve her situation by actnig more prestigious than she should.

This essay response is directed at a question asking candidates to discuss the character of Curley's wife in John Steinbeck's novel 'Of Mice and Men'. In it, the candidate fairly successfully addresses a number of scenes whereby the character of Curley's wife is conveyed by Steinbeck's use of metaphors and how Curley's wife interacts with the other characters. Though, almost all their analytical comments are erroneous. Let it no be said that there are right and wrong answers here but if analysis from the candidate clearly juxtaposes the intentions of the writer, then the examiners become aware that the candidate in question lacks sufficient knowledge about the novel and the authorial intentions of it's plot and characters to answer the question with sensible analysis.