Character Analysis: Curley's Wife

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At the beginning of the novel, Curley’s wife is often seen as a floozy rather than a nice girl. Firstly, Curley’s wife is presented as a floozy and threat to anyone on the ranch. This is shown when Candy describes her to George and Lennie as “a bitch” who “got the eye.” This is interesting because George and Lennie haven’t even met her yet but instantly draw conclusions on how they feel towards her. Curley’s wife being the boss’ daughter in law should be treated with respect and dignity because of the power she holds, however, because of the ranch hands description of her, we as readers can tell she holds no authority. At this moment the reader is unaware of why but later discovers the social prejudices that plague the ranch. The fact that “she’s got the eye” not only dehumanises her but labels her as unfaithful and evidently untrustworthy in the eyes of the ranch hands. The use of this very short and direct sentence causes many to develop negative connotations of her as this is Candy’s opinion stated as a fact, misleading the reader into prejudging her as a predator rather than prey. Immediately, the reader is bombarded with bad impressions of Curley’s wicked and despised wife even though no one truly knows her. This is evident in the fact Curley “got married a couple of weeks ago.” The fact Curley’s wife has been introduced by Candy, immediately and subtly introduces Steinbeck’s intentions for this novel: exposing the social intolerance of humans. This is because she’s
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