Curley’s Wife Character in Of Mice and Men
“Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages” implies the extensive amount of time she has, being alone with nothing better to do than to curl her hair. Her inappropriate body language proves how she dreadfully tries to seek attention and flirts openly with men as she positions herself against the door frame so that “her body was thrown forward”. She smiles “archly” and “twitch(es) her body”. This gives the reader the general impression that Curley’s wife is an attractive young lady who seeks attention of men.
George’s immediate comments such as “Jesus, what a tramp”, and “So that’s what Curley picks for a wife” and reactions to Curley’s wife, however, allows the reader to realize that she is a potential threat to George and Lennie. George fumes when he knows of Lennie’s admiration of her being one who is “purty” and fiercely tells him not to even “take a look at that bitch” and refers to her as “poison” and “jail bait” and to leave her alone.
It is obvious that she longs for friends and for someone to talk to, however, males on the ranch dislike her because they see has as one who is a magnet to trouble.
George, especially foreshadows future problems between Lennie and Curley’s wife because Lennie got into trouble in Weed from trying to touch a lady wearing a red dress. As the story progresses, we learn more about Curley’s wife. We learn that her husband does not trust her with the other ranch workers, being isolated from the community in the ranch and because of that, must feel really despondent and alone. Curley’s wife is given a reputation of creating trouble between the different characters in the novel.
Most of the men in the ranch rarely sees females, only recognizing females who go to town to a “whore-house”. This then reveals the stereotypical view on women as that of a “whore”. Curley’s wife states “I never get to talk to anyone. I get awful lonely”. This shows that being the only female leaves her with the lack of companionship especially when she is being disliked by other characters in the novel and not being truly loved by her husband. There is no mutual trust between Curley and his wife, as we see that he starts a fight when he thinks that there was something going on between his wife and Slim.
We also learn the prejudice side of her when she goes to Crooks’ door on the Saturday night where everyone goes to town. From this we see the bitterness and seclusion in her. She knows that Curley has gone out to town, and this is when we get to see the reality of her life on the ranch. She enters Crooks’ room with the excuse of looking for Curley to talk to him, Lennie and Candy. When Crooks suggests that she “go(es) along to your (her) own house” and that they didn’t “want no trouble”, she tries to convince them to talk to her and expresses her loneliness. “Well, I ain’t giving you no trouble.
Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time? “This then draws the reader’s sympathy towards her as we realize how forlorn she is, even being ostracized by Crooks, a Negro. However, the sympathy we have for her soon becomes washed away when she reveals the cruel side of her, intimidating people with her status. When Crooks told her to leave the room for the 2nd time, she gets angry and shows the contemptuousness she feels for Crooks, Lennie, and Candy, referring them as a “nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep”.
The situation worsens when she also threatens and reminds Crooks of his status as a Negro, removing Crooks’ pride and dignity, when he dares to demand her to leave his room. “Listen, Nigger, You know what I can do to you if you open your trap? ” This then causes the reader to recognize both the lonesome and malevolent side of her. She also mocks and puts people down when it comes to the dreams of other people. “I seen too many of you guys. ” Dreams are a major reoccurring theme in the novel “Of Mice and Men”. When Lennie tells Curley’s wife of his and George’s dream, she mocks them saying its “Baloney”.
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