Joanna Vitiello, S4fra
Thursday 8th November 2012
Writing: The Character of Curley's Wife
Curley's wife is the only women in the ranch, as we learned from the previous chapters, and is not given a name as she is seen as Curley's property. First destined to be an actress as she recounts to Lennie, Candy and Crooks, her chances were taken away by her mother who thought she was too young and she so ended up at the ranch by marrying Curley, concerned in getting away from her opportunity-breaker mother as soon as possible. From this we can already observe her high self-esteem, thinking it was only because of her mother that she didn't end up in acting, not because of her possible lack of great talent. But marrying Curley wasn't maybe finally the best choice. Confined almost all day in a 'two-by-four' house, she has to listen to her men-hater husband's only conversation about what he is going to do to the fellows he doesn't like, or to support his non-care about her. She doesn't like him, says he is too selfish and proud of himself (we can notice that these are also two of her self-characteristics). These facts lead her to become lonely and hostile to men, regarding them as responsible for her bad situation. The only benefit she uses from her marriage is her superiority against the other men, being the wife of the boss's son and so having the power of having them fired, power from which she abuses, for example by forcing Lennie, Crooks and Candy to speak to her. This shows her manipulative and intelligent character but also her tremendous loneliness. She is mean, bitter and prejudiced against them (she calls them the weak ones, hobos, and discriminates them by treating them respectively of dum-dum, nigger and lousy old sheep), but she has an irrepressible need to talk to them.