Of Mice and Men: An Unexpected Connection

Topics: Need, The Final Scene Pages: 4 (1359 words) Published: November 10, 2009
Lennie and Curley’s wife come across as very different characters. They differ greatly in appearance, mentality, and personality. Despite their differences, though, Lennie and Curley’s wife are surprisingly similar in the way they both constantly need to create physical connections. As a result, they are able to relate to each other, and when they are finally alone together they address each other’s needs, which leads to a tragic end.

Lennie and Curley’s wife are extremely different people, both externally and internally. Lennie is “a huge man, shapeless of face, …with wide, sloping shoulders,” (2) while Curley’s wife is a very “purty” (28) woman with “full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes” (31). Lennie has animalistic qualities and moves clumsily: “…he walked heavily, dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws” (2). Contrastingly, Curley’s wife is more graceful and moves very quietly, which is depicted when Candy says, “Jesus Christ, Curley’s wife can move quiet” (82) after she had entered the stable on the way to Crooks’ bunk without anyone hearing her. Lennie suffers from an unknown mental illness – the other characters think he’s “nuts” (74)— and as a result, he acts callow, imitating the behavior of certain animals: He drank from the pool “with long gulps, snorting into the water like a horse,” (3) and he “dabbled his big paw in the water and wiggled his fingers so the water arose in little splashes” (3). Lennie is “a nice fella” (40) who is very innocent, illustrated by how he interacts with the girl in the red dress in Weed: “…he reaches out to feel this red dress, …he jus’ wanted to touch that dress” (42). He is also very tractable; “…he’d do any damn thing” (40) that George told him. In contrast, Curley’s wife is mentally sharper and very observant; she notices all “them bruises” (80) on Lennie’s face, which resulted from his fight with Curley, and realizes that he was the one who hurt Curley’s hand, not a machine. Curley’s...
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