Curley's Wife Character Analysis

Submitted By harun-ali
Words: 606
Pages: 3

Explain the ways Steinbeck presents ideas about the good and bad in Curley’s Wife

This perception is further emphasized by Curley’s wife first appearance in the novel. Her physical appearance of ‘full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up, further build our preconceptions of her. Red the color of her attire and the style of her hair and makeup suggest some sexuality. Also, she uses suggestive and provocative body language, ‘ she put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward’. Her excuse to be with men in their areas contribute to the rancher’s view of her as a ‘tramp’. She both talks and acts playfully and flirtatiously in front of the other ranch workers. In my opinion she behaves in this manner because her sexuality is her only weapon to gain attention. Red is also a color symbolizing an impure woman suggesting she is immoral. Through her physical appearance and her own actions, Candy’s description of Curley’s wife seems accurate after her first appearance in the novel.

The manner in which both male characters have to look “up” to her indicates that Steinbeck is portraying her as a character who considers herself superior. Steinbeck encourages her personality to be perceived as dominant over all the other males on the ranch, contrasting with what woman were thought of in the 1930s. Furthermore, it immediately shows her status in the hierarchy of the ranch, showing that she is more controlling and powerful then most of the men.

The “rectangle” symbolically shows that she might have an ‘edgy’ personality, therefore might also be angered easily. It could similarly show that, like a “rectangle”, she has 4 sides to herself…4 faces. However, this could mean that she might not be who readers think she is, and she might be hiding what she truly feels inside, which could be a vulnerable woman who is actually feeling miserable, but has to create this false personality so she doesn’t feel hurt.

The way the doorway of sunshine is cut of could show that she is like an entity of darkness that is removing all light in a situation. This could be