Curley's Wife Imagery

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How does Steinbeck create contrasting images of Curley’s wife in ‘Of mMice and mMen’?
How could a character with no name be so deep and complex? The novella ‘Of mMice and mMen’ uses symbolism and hidden meanings to add depth to the characters, Curley’s wife being a prime example. The novella offers contradicting descriptions and presentations of Curley’s wife making us hate and disapprove of her while the next moment we feel guilty and mourn her. Steinbeck creates contrasting images of Curley’s wife by using literary techniques such as pathetic fallacy, juxtaposition and irony.

Body 1:
When Curley’s wife is first introduced into the novella it isn’t in person, it is through rumours and gossip. Evidence of this is when George is talking to Candy and Candy describes Curley’s wife as a “tart” who has “the eye”. This provides the reader with only a description of a married woman who is immoral and only causes trouble for the ranch hands. Specifically, the word “tart” dismisses her as a person and rids the reader of any thoughts about her having feelings. All of this causes the reader to side with Candy’s opinion of Curley’s wife since it is the only one provided and we have yet to see a different side to her.
Body 2: …show more content…

Evidence is the quote “And the meanness and the plannings and discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face”. This technique seems like it wipes the slate clean for Curley’s wife and shows that she isn’t always scheming. When Steinbeck chose to connect the list of things that were gone from her face he used “and” instead of commas. This was to emphasize the number of things that were gone and make the list seem longer. This stirs up even more guilt within the reader as it seems that all the things they judged Curley’s wife for during her time of living were washed away so

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