Of Mice and Men - the Role of Curley's Wife

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What is the importance of the role of Curley’s wife in the novel? You should refer closely to her words, to events, and to the actions and opinions of other characters in your answer.

Through considering the roles of characters in the John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men I believe that the role of Curley’s wife is significant in the novel. Many aspects of her personality make her so important; other characters opinions on her also form a close judgment towards her from the beginning. I will be analysing her language and the way she communicates with the dominant males surrounding her at the ranch. I will look at how Steinbeck portrays her role in the novel and the impact that has on the reader and how they might perceive her character. When introduced it is clear that she is attention seeking and very much a flirt. Steinbeck describes her by saying, “She had full rouged lips” and that she was “heavily made up” and wearing “a cotton house dress with little red mules, on the insteps which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers”. It becomes clear that she wasn’t just looking for Curley so she told George and Lennie, but attention from the many men who worked on the ranch. The fact that she was made up also implies that she has a lot of time on her hands and is somewhat bored. Steinbeck portrays her in this part of the novel as a flirt when she’s talking to the men, “She put her hands back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward”. Furthermore, she tries her hardest to make conversation with the men, despite the fact they weren’t interested in speaking to her, she asks, “you’re the new fellas that just come, ain’t ya?” George seemed reluctant to speak to her, he later referred to her as a “tramp” and “jail bait” what’s more he snapped at her when she was in the bunk house saying, “well he ain’t now” suggesting he just wants the conversation to end and for her to go. The introduction of Curley’s wife is an important...
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