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Of Mice and Men: A critical look at Curley’s wife

Uploaded by kai_in_your_pants on Feb 08, 2001

‘Of Mice and Men’, a novel by John Steinbeck, tells a story of friendship, loneliness and aspirations. Two itinerants named George and Lennie go to work on a farm as labourers in a place named Soledad. The story then ends when George takes Lennie’s life. Almost everyone on the farm is lonely and the person that represents this the most is Curley’s (the boss’s son) wife, one of the most pivotal characters in the book. When Lennie and George arrive on the farm and are shown their quarters Curley’s wife, on one of her ‘looking for Curley’ routines, sees them both and immediately starts flirting with them. George gets angry when Lennie takes a shine to her and tell him to stay away and calls her a ‘bitch’ and a ‘rat-trap’ This view is also held by many of the workers on the farm. Curley instantly takes a dislike to Lennie when he firsts meets him just because he his much considerably larger that himself. This attitude towards Lennie results in him getting into a fight with him but he loses when Lennie crushes his hand with his own fist. Curley’s wife knows Lennie did this even though Curly was told to say he had caught his hand in a machine. Curley’s wife pursuit of company leads her to seek solace with Lennie. She pours out her pent up frustration of her unrealised dreams and ambitions. When she realises Lennie isn’t taking much interest she lets him feel her hair. Lennie being Lennie strokes harder and harder even though Curley’s wife begs him to stop. As she struggled to get out of his grasp he accidentally broke her neck. Lennie then ran off to his hiding place where he was told to go if he ever did a ‘bad thing.’ When Curley discovers his wife’s body he runs after Lennie with a mob including George. This leads to George pulling a trigger on Lennie.

I feel Curley’s wife is the most despairing and lonely character in the book. She has no friends, no future, no respect; she doesn’t even deserve a name. I really feel sorry for her, all she wants is someone to talk to, to converse with but in her mind the only way she can do this is by flaunting herself to the men just to get noticed. This leads her to be perceived as a ‘floosy’ by...

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Uploaded by:   kai_in_your_pants

Date:   02/08/2001

Category:   Of Mice And Men

Length:   7 pages (1,489 words)

Views:   2339

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