Analysis Of Curley's Wife

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Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ incorporates a myriad of development for the character of Curley’s Wife. Her character is often portrayed negatively and is openly disliked by the majority of the males. Typical of a piece set in 1930 America, she is treated unjustly as women were highly subservient to men. She is also the sole woman, hence this stimulates the audience to harness empathy for her through her solitude. Curley’s Wife possesses one of the boldest introductions in the novella. Moments before her initial appearance “a brake screeched outside”. This harsh onomatopoeia warns readers of her character. Such foreshadowing is repeated when “the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off” upon her arrival. Seeing as light connotes hope,…show more content…
During Curley’s Wife’s first appearance she “was standing there looking in”, hinting that despite being Curley’s ‘lover’, she was still an outsider to everyone. Notwithstanding, she and Curley are incessantly searching for each other, thus she is lost within the vicious cycle of her marriage. This may indicate she is searching for an escape. Additionally, she has “her hair hung in rolled clusters, like sausages”, the contrast seems ironic since sausages are produced using leftovers. This shows that despite how passionate her efforts are, she will always be discarded as a mere ‘entity’-a substance that nobody values. Consequently, her frustration is seen when she has an explosive outburst: “Think I like to live in that house alla time?” Such rhetorical questions imply that she is intelligent; being fully aware that the men will not answer but continues to taunt them, harnessing their guilt. Alternatively, it indicates her negative feelings towards the house since the emphasis on ‘that’ suggests the lack of love she possesses, and instead is resentful. Equivalently, she refers to it as a ‘house’, not a home. A house is a building with no emotional attachments to it, unlike a home. This is displayed again with “the girl flared up.” The diction of ‘flared’ accentuates how impulsive she is to retaliate and her desperation for someone to hear her out. Curley has no intention of doing so as he solely uses…show more content…
She is described as “very pretty and simple and her face was sweet and young.” hence showing the ulterior innocence she held despite her actions. Furthermore, “the meanness and the plannings and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face” highlighting that her true beauty finally emerged through her façade. Her ‘ache for attention’ suggests the level of desperation was so deep that she was physically pained for it. The stark contrast between these descriptions to her initial one stuns readers as it signifies how her experiences moulded her to become vitriolic. Her description has become positive, as if death has released her from the vicious cyclic pattern. Additionally, usage of metaphors such as “sun streaks were high on the wall by now, and the light was growing soft in the barn”, signify that all hope left with her soul. The diction of “soft” also implies her innocence and readers experience sympathy for her fate. Before she died, the phrase “writhed to be free” was used. This may refer to her ensnarement within the vicious cycle and her desire to escape it- however, only death could free her. Similarly, her body “flopped like a fish” further displaying how she was helplessly held captive as prey, linking to her vulnerability. When “a pigeon flew in through the open hay door and circled and flew out again” it may indirectly refer to the vicious cycle through “circled”. Alternately,
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