Steinbeck and His Change of Attitude Towards Curley's Wife

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Feelings towards Curley’s Wife
In the novel “Of Mice and Men” we find that the writer has manipulated our feelings as the novel progresses. These feelings are those that are towards Curley’s wife. When Curley’s wife is introduced into the novel we find that she has been depicted by not only the reader but the ranch workers that are in the book as purely a distraction towards the men. Steinbeck never tells the reader her name; this means that we keep the idea that she isn’t seen as a person to the men, but more like a disturbance to their work. By Steinbeck not referring to Curley’s wife by her name, it could be referring to the dominance of males in society at the time. This is because she is seen to be Curley’s possession. This can be seen as we never find a point in the novel where Curley speaks to his wife. The only speech we find is her telling her to leave the ranch workers alone. This is seen in Chapter 5 as she describes how there is nothing to do inside the ranch house. This again exaggerates how she is just seen as a trophy to Curley. Throughout the novel, Curley’s wife is seen as a danger to the ranch workers as they feel that she is putting their job on the ranch at risk as Curley is the ranch owner’s son. However, we find that as we get to understand her better, we begin to feel pity and empathetic towards her. This is because we realise that she hasn’t lived the life she wanted to and is feeling sorry for her for these reasons. We begin to understand her dream of being an actor, this relates to all ranch workers dreams – They never work. We feel bad about this because she had the opportunity when she was younger to live the life she wanted. On page 125, we understand that she is resentful and angry that she is with Curley due to her feeling that it is the lowest she could have gotten. This change of feeling as the novel progresses almost acts as a story with a moral point ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. This is because as soon as she is in...
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