Within this passage Steinbeck uses a lot of imagery so that the reader can visualise her appearance. She, ‘wore a cotton house dress...’ with the use of nouns and a verb, to add to the description of her dress wear. Steinbeck added ‘full rouged lips’; with the use of adjectives, verbs and adverbs for ‘red’ and ‘little’ this emphasizes the colour of her mules and the ‘bouquet of ostrich feathers’ alongside the lip colour. ‘Her fingernails were red’ the use of an adjective ‘red’ to enhance the visualisation that Steinbeck wanted to get across. The red tones could indicate lust, danger or passion.Further to Steinbeck’s presentation he used alliteration along with an adjective to describe her hair, ‘Her hair hung in little rolled clusters’, ‘like sausages’ was a simile used emphasize on the rolled clusters giving a true image to the shape of the curls.
Curley’s wife came across as very flirtatious ‘Oh! She put hands...’ was thought as jailbait by most of the men. With the use of assonance with the words ‘looking’ and ‘looked’ it was as though she knew Lennie was looking at her, but it was almost as though she pretended not to notice by looking at her fingernails. She did however reply ‘playfully’ which is an adverb; this would lead the reader to presume she was of a promiscuous nature and a tease. When Slim comes up behind her, Steinbeck uses sibilance to enhance ‘Hi Slim. She said’ when Slim told her that Curley was at their house she became ‘suddenly apprehensive’ with the use of verbs and adverbs to show how afraid she was of being found in the bunkhouse. As she leaves hurriedly ‘Bye boys’ is the use of alliteration to accentuate her flirtatious ways.
The men do not regard Curley’s wife as anything other than a ‘tramp’ which is noun to show they don’t respect her. They also called her jailbait and they hated the only woman on the ranch. Lennie however ‘...watched her fascinated’, which is putting two verbs together with the use of a conjunction to connect the two words within the sentence. This showed how Lennie was fascinated by her beauty and we learn early on in the book Lennie likes to touch nice things. Although she is portrayed as a tart within the novel, she can come across as friendly and lonely, Curley’s wife is craving attention and companionship that she is lacking.
How does Steinbeck present attitudes to women in the society in which the novel is set?
The novel was set during the big depression in the 1930’s which was very dismissive of women from paradise altogether. The way in which Steinbeck presents attitudes towards women throughout the novel, is as derogatory assigns. This is so the readers would visualise how misogynistic men were at that time and how their views socially disempowered women at that time. Women only had lowly functions such as care givers Aunt Clara, ‘...That was your own Aunt Clara.’ Or they were sex objects such as Susy or Clara. Susy being the more upmarket sex house ‘Hell of a nice place’. Whereas Clara’s ‘...they think they’re running a parlor house.’
Steinbeck used the men’s view of Curley’s wife to…