Essay Question: Examine how Steinbeck presents the character of Curley’s wife in ‘Of Mice and Men’
The famous novella ‘O Mice and Men’ was written by John Steinbeck, in which all characters play an immense role. Firstly the time in which this novel was written has a direct impact on the characters life style and personality. As we know, this novel was written during the time of the great depression, which was based in 1929. It was known as the great depression, because it lasted for up to 10 years. During this time women had no rights and were abounded and isolated from social activities. They were known to be the possession of their husband. In this novella Steinbeck shows us two view on the character of Curley’s wife, however our perception of her changes without herself actually changing.
As a reader we know how she is without even seen her. She was first mentioned by Candy, as he was describing her to George. Through her description we know that “she got the eye”, meaning that she is a person who can cause danger to others. Furthermore Candy described her as a “tart”, “tramp” and a “bitch”. Before actually seeing her we know that she is the only women in the ranch and that she is a flirtatious person as well as a promiscuous person. Also Steinbeck describes her as a “girl” instead of a “woman”. This shows that he is informing the reader about her personality and how she is. Girls are mainly described as immature and innocent and that they don’t have enough knowledge about the world, where as a woman is a much mature person with a wider knowledge about the world and life. Curley’s wife is described as a girl, because she is being looks down at and not respected as she should be it also emphasises her vulnerability.
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