The Sympathetic Character In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

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The definition of a sympathetic character is one whom the writer expects the reader to identify with and care about, though not necessarily admire. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, Curley’s wife, a main character in the book is blatantly portrayed as an unsympathetic character. This is because they only see her through the men's eyes, who only see her as a tiresome object, owned by her husband. Steinbeck’s portrayal of Curley’s wife is unfair and misogynistic because he only displays her as unintelligent and promiscuous, never has a character have a turning point where they realize she’s more than an object, and he never reveals her true name. The first reason that Steinbeck's portrayal of Curley’s wife is unfair is that he never gives Curley any redeeming personality traits, he only depicts her as unintelligent and promiscuous. Making her physical features, such as her red nail polish, the most important part of her character. This is made obvious by the ranchers when they talk about her, as George says, “I seen 'em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jailbait worse than her. You leave her be." And, “Jesus, what a tramp. So that's what Curley picks for a wife”(67). This is unfair because if Steinbeck wanted to make readers question the misogyny occurring in the book he would have given her redeeming…show more content…
She was only written with negative character traits which made it so characters or readers were never able to sympathize with her. Next, no character ever had a turning point where they saw Curley’s wife as more than exactly that, Curley’s wife. And finally, he never gave her a name. There was a great imbalance between sexism and making the readers question the sexism. If Steinbeck had chosen to give the woman some justice the message against sexism would have been stronger. Tragically, now all the woman can really be remembered for is her cruel words, and red nail
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