eys Examine how Steinbeck presents the character of Curley’s wife in ‘Of mice and men’ . Refer closely to the text in your answer to support your views.
Throughout the novel Steinbeck presents the character of Curley’s wife in a number of ways. Initially he tells us that she is a beautiful girl who is lonely and she is the only female on the ranch. Steinbeck explains that she is presented as a sexual object for Curly. Even though she is the boss’s son’s wife she is still low in the hierarchy within the ranch. She clearly uses her sexuality as a weapon and is seen as a sexual predator. This is shown as she wears a lot of red and ostrich feathers. The red signals love, danger and sex. Unfortunately her sexuality has no impact on the farm because everyone is scared of being friendly or seen with her due to her husband’s power. She is flirtatious ‘you guys seen Curly anywhere?’ She asks this just to be able to enter the stable to be with the men and this is used a decoy to get her to be able to socialise with the men. Stein beck is giving the reader a negative image of her, almost as a sex slave. We see this negativity in other character’s description of her: George states she is a ‘rattrap and a tramp’ , Lennie calls her ‘ purdy’, Candy states ‘ well that gloves full of Vaseline’ this refers to the idea that Curley wife is merely viewed by all as an object of sexual desire yet men are wary of her and avoid contact where possible. She seeks out greater weaknesses in others in order to protect herself or to survive. This she does with her appearance: ‘full rough lips, heavily made up eyes, finger nails red, her hair hung in little clusters’ . Her choices of clothes are very feminine and tempting desire. She wants to be admired and noticed. Her actions and mannerisms are also very sexual ‘leans against the door frame so her body is thrown forward.’ Steinbeck is trying to present the character as a tease and an object of desire. This however clearly shows that she is...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document