Curley's Wife Character Analysis

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In society, names have a purpose. They not only act as an arrangement of letters and words to address someone by but serve as the foundation of a person’s identity. Yet, in the novella, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck decided to not name one of his characters. Steinbeck refers to this character as Curley’s wife and had a reason to do so. Steinbeck did not name Curley’s wife to emphasize the fact that she has no identity; however, if named, a name suitable to her nature would be Martha. Curley’s wife’s life revolves around loneliness. Curley’s wife constantly visits the ranch workers’ bunkhouses in search for someone to talk to. The fact that she “never get[s] to talk to nobody” (Steinbeck 86) and gets “awful lonely” (86) implies that she lives a lonely existence. Yet, this desire for human contact crumbles when all the ranch workers see her as a “bitch” (32) and a “jail bait” (32) who “poison[s]” (32) them. No matter how hard she tries to appeal to the ranch hands, they will always see her as the ranch whore, nothing more or less. They will never understand why she flirts with them and provokes them because in their eyes she only causes trouble for them. Crooks clearly states that they “don’t want no trouble” (77) when Curley’s wife enters uninvitingly, and she responds with “…I ain’t giving you no trouble. Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while?” (77) From the perspective of the ranch hands, Curley’s wife represents a nuisance with no individuality,

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