preview

How Does Curley's Wife Show Loneliness

Satisfactory Essays
In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck uses the character of Curley's wife to illustrate the theme of loneliness. Curley's wife is the only woman on the farm and has no one to talk with. In the beginning, Curley's wife always bothers the men by telling them "[She is] lookin' for Curley" (Steinbeck 31). This is the first sign of her unbearable loneliness. Unfortunately, when she asks the men if they've seen her husband she acts flirtatiously, which gives them the wrong impression. "She put her hands behind her back and [leans] against the door frame so that her body [is] thrown forward" (31). All she really wants is to talk with somebody, not do anything unfaithful to her husband. Her second sign of loneliness is when she angrily lashes…show more content…
She becomes furious and shouts " 'Well, I ain't giving you [any] trouble. Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while' " (77). She threatens Crooks, who then backs down, and storms out of the barn. Her final sign of loneliness is when she always wanders around the farm. Eventually, she finds Lennie, who has just hidden the dead puppy, in the barn. It takes her awhile to get Lennie comfortable enough to talk with her, but, in the end, she makes him cave in and listen to her. As they engage in deep conversation, Curley's wife starts to tell Lennie about the success she could have as an actress and that she never wanted to marry Curley. As a result, Curley's wife begins lowering her defenses and makes a fatal mistake. It starts out as simple as letting him stroke her hair. She tells Lennie to " 'see how soft it is' " (90). Then, it escalates out of control and leads to her death "She [is] still, for Lennie [broke] her neck" (91). It's sad to think that all of this spawns from the deep loneliness she feels in her mind. All Curley's wife wants is to have somebody to talk with. But, she never gets what she wants and ends up dead as a result of her painful
Get Access