7 Oct 2013
Of Mice and Men Essay: Analyzing a character
Many characters in the novel, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck have a purpose that they serve in the story. Steinbeck uses these characters to make an opinionated statement about society in the 19130’s. Curley’s wife is described throughout the novel as a very attractive woman, who has full roughed lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up. She had red fingernails and her hair was in curls like sausage
Curley’s wife is viewed in the men’s eyes as flirtatious. However, I believe that her personal motive in the story was not trying to have an affair, but simply trying to have companionship and to have someone to talk to. Curley’s wife, being the only woman on the farm, feels lonely and is obligated to be a typical housewife that stays at home all day to cook and clean. However, Curley’s wife is not that type tamed woman that would sit still like that. She dreams of starring in movies and becoming famous. She had bigger dreams than just being a housewife and I think being the only woman on the farm stifles her. She looks to the men on the farm for friendship and companionship, but obviously they take it as flirting and in order to stay out of trouble with Curley, they stay away from her. This increases Curley’s wife’s loneliness.
Curley’s wife represents women in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. Women in the 1930’s were seen by men as scheming and devious. John Steinbeck perceived Curley’s wife as this woman that causes trouble on the farm, which is the cause for the Lennie’s ultimate end. However, we can see at the end of the novel that Curley’s wife is not just this “troublemaker” which the men perceive her as. She opens herself up to Lennie and shares her dreams in life. It shows that she too, like the men on the farm, has dreams too. Curley’s wife was not given a name throughout the novel. She was only known as the “tramp”, “tart” or “bitch”, which were very provocative words. This also shows us how women were treated. They were seen as insignificant and