Omam: Of Mice and Men and Curley Essay

Submitted By Laadoons
Words: 967
Pages: 4

n the novel of Mice and Men, Steinbeck makes the reader feel sympathetic for Curley’s wife in a variety of ways. Curley’s wife is the only female character in the novel, and everybody calls her “Curley’s Wife”. She is also an un-named character and she stays unknown throughout the novel. This links in with one of the main themes of Mice and Men “Loneliness” which is easily shown by not having a name.

"They left all the weak ones here" (pg 110, ch4) - she is aware of which ranch men 'weak' and which ones are strong, suggesting she truely does have 'the eye goin' all the time on everybody' implying she may take advantage of this moment as she considers them as being easy targets to seduce by referring them as being the 'weak ones'. On the other hand, does this also include her as she is powerless without the consent of her husband? And yet she still talks to them as she knows they will not cause her any harm. Steinbeck is portraying Curley's wife as a person who just blurts out whatever she feels like as well as stating the present men as a lower status to her. However, she seems to like talking to them as she would not normally talk to them when the other ranch men are around.

"I get lonely. You can talk to people, but I can't talk to nobody but Curley." (P122-3) Even though she is married to the boss' son, she can't go around freely because she may fear Curley. Steinbeck could have chosen to write this to signify the power that men had over women even if they were married. It shows that it was a man's world. Furthermore, it shows her distaste towards the man she is meant to cherish and love express once again how lonely she is in her relationship. She looks towards the ranch workers for the attention which should have been provided by her husband.

"If I catch any one man, and he's alone, I get along fine with him. But just let two of the guys get together an' you won't talk. Jus' nothing but mad. You're all scared of each other, that's what. Ever' one of you's scared the rest is goin' to get something on you" (pg 85) She implies that she has attempted many times over to talk to the men, but they only respond when they are alone, indicating that they don't have a pure motive behind it.

"Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely." (pg 122) Steinbeck presents Curley's wife as an isolated woman who is trapped in a marriage to Curley and is a possession according to him. Curley's wife doesn't agree with this and seeks comfort and friendliness in someone as mentally inferior as Lennie because she feels like she doesn't have anyone else she can speak to. Her looks is the only mean to draw in a conversation which is the reason why she flirts with other men so that she can have someone who'll take notice of her and treat her the way she would like to be respected.

“When I’m doin’ my hair sometimes I jus’ set an’ stroke it ‘cause it’s so soft.” (pg 126) This statement was said with innocence as she enjoys Lennie's adoration, a feeling incapable by the other ranchers.



When Lennie first saw her, he thought she was “Purty” another meaning for pretty. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. The rest of the men on the ranch refer to her as a “Tart” “Looloo” and a “bitch”. We feel quite sympathetic for her at this point because she is