Curley's Wife

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Curley's wife- as she is known to the audience- is the only women on the ranch. Without the identity of a name she is known only by association of the man she doesn't even like. Despite her marriage to Curley she flaunts herself around the ranch in inappropriate clothing 'she had full rouged lips...She wore a cotton housedress and red mules,' flirting with ranch hands and is conscious of the effect she has on men. These clothes and her behaviour I think are designed to provoke interest and attention rather than to invite intimacy. She seems preoccupied with strategies to avoid detection from her husband and manages this by continuously asking of his whereabouts. 'Have any of you boys seen Curley?'

Curley's wife is first presented to us on page 32 ' the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off' a girl was standing there looking in' Curley's wife has Steinbeck describes her physical appearance first, she is described as very sexually attractive and uses this to bait guys in. she uses her physical appearance as her main weapon, and in the end of the book Lennie gets in trouble because she tempts him to stroke her soft hair. Steinbeck shows moments of her being overly cruel. She gets lonely and looks around for people to talk to but when she realises that the guys don’t want to talk to her she turns on crooks telling him that she can get him hanged because she would accuse him of rape.

The perceptions we make of Curley's wife are corrupted from the views of the ranch hands. Because sexuality is her only weapon she is referred to as 'jailbait' and ' a tart' 'Jesus what a tramp.' George has reason to be weary of her presence especially with Lenny around and the incident in Weed. 'Listen to me you crazy bastard...Don't you even look at that bitch Steinbeck uses candy to forewarn the reader about Curley’s wife in their first meeting, this is significant as it shows that Curley’s wife is interpreted as ‘jail bait’ as George says. The fact that George is...
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