Curley’s Wife: The Struggle of Getting Out From Her Cage Throughout literature, women who are characterized as shameless temptresses are often the way they are because of a desperation to break away from society’s oppression of low-class, uneducated females. This is never more true than for Curley’s wife in the fictional novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Through considerate yet concise descriptions of her fantasy of Hollywood stardom, putting down of others, and attention-seeking ways, Curley’s wife is revealed to be a downtrodden female who suffers from her own internal, emotional conflict.
Curley’s wife muses about her Hollywood ideal as a reassurance that she is a woman of worth and potential. She reveals that she “‘met one of …show more content…
After she barges into Crook’s room, she complains in self-deprecation that she is “‘[s]tandin’ here talkin’ to a bundle of bindle stiffs -- a n***er an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep --and likin’ it because they ain’t nobody else’” (78). She is cruel to Crooks, Lennie, and Candy instead of feeling empathetic because she is ashamed to acknowledge that once her makeup is wiped away she too is just as pathetic. Like them, she is powerless and shunned by society. However, while the men are are conversing about their dreams without aversion, Curley’s wife is snubbed for her reputation as a seductress, so as “she looked from one face to another, they were all closed against her” (79). Even Crooks, the black man who she “‘[can] get strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny’” (81) pushes her out. With a wounded pride, she is indignant at the men who ostracize her. She resents their black and white perspective: the prejudice that she, as a “trouble” woman, has no morals nor dreams of her own. Curley’s wife, from her iconic behavior, is classed by the men as a wanton woman who lives for the present moment. Jealous of the men’s companionship and their hopes, and offended by their judgment, Curley’s wife’s dignity plummets so much that she takes pleasure in seeing their pain -- like a bully. Yet, she is not naturally sadist nor immoral; she is angry at a society that never pauses to understand her
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Despite being the only female on a ranch full of foul-mouthed men, Curley 's wife exploits both her sexuality and her status to demonstrate power throughout the novel. For instance, when first meeting Curley’s wife she attempts to enhance her body for the new men: “She put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward” (31). From Curley’s wife’s actions we learn that since the beginning she finds it necessary to flaunt her body, instead of showing her real personality. Furthermore, she is using her physical attraction to portray an appearance that is automatically seducing in hopes of placing herself above the newly arriving men. After Crooks tells Curley’s wife to get out of the barn, she erupts
For example, he was a bully that threatened the men if they upset them. Curley would get upset is any of the men were to talk to his wife. Although Curley’s wife was trying to be the men's friends, they would not pay attention to her because of her husband. She wanted nothing more than to have friends and to be able to talk to
Misconception Curley’s wife, who was never to be named, was a complex and important main character in John Steinbeck's novelette “Of Mice & Men.”. She had a complicated past from aspiring to be a young actress but never getting the support needed from her family. She was practically forced into marriage with Curley; she never actually loved him. From the first time she was brought up in the novelette, she was portrayed as a flirtatious, ignorant tramp. This portrayal, however, is based on the viewpoints of Steinbeck’s male characters.
Curley’s wife is finds herself in an unlucky situation while attempting to befriend the “gentle” giant, Lennie, adding on to her already unfortunate past. She converses to Lennie of all her past plans, saying “‘I coulda made somethin’ of myself.’” Curley’s wife then reveals her backstory, how she nearly did make something of herself, with an actor or movie star husband, not some short-tempered, condescending control-freak. Following this, she dies because Lennie didn’t want her alerting the others to their location. What’s more, as readers follow the story, people see her as, states Candy, a “floozy,” which influences the opinion of how Curley’s wife is portrayed, a horrible, good-for-nothing whore.
(Steinbeck 77) This quote emphasizes how lonely Curley’s wife may feel in view of the fact that she has no one but a husband who doesn’t pay much mind to her. It is understandable that Curley’s wife has been reaching out to the workers due to the fact that she has no friends or family to spend time with; it’s like she’s stuck in a prison trying to find something or someone that stops her feeling trapped. These citations convey the reason Curley’s wife had dreamt of being an actress was to gain her own
Finally, Steinbeck dehumanizes Curley by the negative criticism that always pursues her and her loss of identity when accompanying someone or something. This is why she is always commonly known as “Curley’s Wife”, proving that she is an unimportant and insignificant character in this book. Plus, everybody in the book says that Curley’s wife causes trouble for everyone; as George says, “She’s a jail bait all set on the trigger,” (Steinbeck, 49) and is constantly getting blame for all that goes wrong in Soledad; as Candy says, You God damn tramp. You done it, di’n’t you? I s’pose you’re glad.
Curley’s wife is described as an attention seeking woman who is desperate and yearns for recognition because of her loneliness and her unsuccessful dream of being an actress. In section 6, Curley’s wife desperately tells Lennie her story of when she was young, she was promised fame and a chance to be on a show, “but my (Curley’s wife) ol’ lady wouldn’ let me (Curley’s wife)”. This expresses that there are always obstacles that prevent people from succeeding just like how her mother refuses to let her be in the show and be an actress to get the attention she always yearns for. People start off with great potential, viewing their dream as obtainable and as their biggest motivation, but in this cruel world, they are only reaching for a tragic aim. Moreover, Curley’s wife expresses that she will never stay in a place where she “couldn’t get nowhere or make something of myself (herself)”, but what she does contradicts what she says, instead of having a better life or gaining recognition, she marries Curley and is back into a similar or even worse situation she started from.
Innocent Characters that suffer in the book Of Mice and Men Not everyone has life easy. Someone people are great people, but are just in a tough situation. Take the book Of Mice and Men for an example. Many people suffer in the book. In particular three characters suffer the most.
Being forced to kill someone would be really emotional, but imagine if that person was your best friend. In John Steinbeck’s book “Of Mice and Men” George and Lennie have been together since they were kids. Lennie idolized George and George, as often as he gets mad at him, still loves Lennie. They run from their old town of Weed to get a job as ranch hands in Salinas Valley. From there they meet many people, most of which welcomed them, while some had a harder time accepting them.
Flirting is like a game of chess, one wrong move and it is all over. Just like Curley’s wife who does not really think through what she is getting into. In this novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Curley’s wife has really beautiful looks and wears makeup and at the ranch she is always causing trouble. She is an outcast in the ranch, and she is desperate to get attention.
Someone once said, “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” The character known as Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men is portrayed in John Steinbeck’s writing as an antagonist. Multiple time throughout the book she is insulted by the men, who call her things such as a tramp, or a tart. As the story continues, there are many hidden indications that she could be seen as a much simpler, innocent presence, rather than an evil. When looked at more in depth, Curley’s Wife can be seen as a victimized character.
While Crooks, a victim of racial prejudice, expresses his isolation openly, he also socializes with other workers on the job and while playing horseshoes with them. Curley’s wife, on the other hand, cannot talk to anyone without suffering the consequences of a jealous husband: “ I get so lonely,’ she said. “you can talk to people , but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?”
Curley’s wife has great power over Crooks. When Curley’s wife walked into the crook’s room she was looking for conversation but when Lennie, Crooks, and candy started talking about their dream farm and Curley’s wife just all of the sudden she laughed and thought that the dream farm will never exist. Then Crooks tells Curley’s wife to leave but she then she gets mad and says “well, you keep your place then, nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t funny” (81).
The Death of The Unborn Female American Dream Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, takes place during the time of The Great Depression; an era extremely difficult for women. The novella contains many iconic characters that serve as a metaphor to our societal standards. Curley’s wife is introduced just like any other; however, the emphasis on her feminine features are metaphoric to where women stand in society. In order to prove that society makes it impossible for certain people to attain The American Dream, Steinbeck objectifies, sexualizes, and kills Curley’s wife to show that women cannot reach The American Dream. Steinbeck uses specific vocabulary to objectify Curley’s wife; alienating her from The American Dream.
Aforementioned, Curley 's wife represents discrimination towards women, she is constantly looked down upon and isn 't treated with respect. However, when she is talking to Crooks, “‘Well, you keep your place then, n*****. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain 't even funny,’”(OMAM 81). Crooks and Curley 's wife go through something similar. They are both discriminated based on a difference that the other men on the farm don’t have.