Curleys Wife In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1100 Words5 Pages
Authors frequently utilize antagonizing characters to drive and enhance the plot and meaning behind the story. In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck explains the story of two lovable main characters and their struggles to achieve their own unattainable American Dream to own property and “live off the fatta the lan’” (14). In the story, the supposed side character and antagonist, Curley’s wife, becomes the obstacle between the main characters and their American dream, ignoring her ambitions. Accidentally murdering Curley’s wife, Lennie ruins any hope of achieving his goals while creating the turning point in the story. However, through the development of Curley’s wife as a character, Steinbeck demonstrates the theme of loneliness and its deadly qualities through her struggles in life and death. Steinbeck’s presentation of Curley’s wife leads to a misconception of her personality and dehumanizes her character. While lacking a name, Curley’s wife exhibits “a deep strong and eventually weak side” (Taja 2). By not using her real name, Steinbeck demonstrates the lack of respect that she receives at the ranch by the men. Depriving her of even human identification, the characters treat her as if she is not a person that they can interact with, rather a danger of losing their jobs that they carefully and strategically avoid. Her roundness of character not only demonstrates her soft side but also exhibits the way the men treat her in an inhumane way, even using prostitutes’ names over
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