Curleys wife

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The novella ‘Of Mice and Men’ written by John Steinbeck was set in the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was difficult for everyone, especially women who were treated by contempt by men. One of the main characters of the novella is a woman who is referred to as ‘Curley’s Wife’. She is a misinterpreted woman who craves attention and this eventually leads to her death. Curley’s wife is important in this novella because as this character develops, we find that she is a complex character with more than we first perceive.

Curley’s wife is the only female lives on the farm. Throughout the novella, the men that work on the ranch always refer to her as ‘Curley’s wife’. Her lack of identity could imply that she is more of a possession of her husband than a woman with rights. That is why she has no name; her identity is being someone’s wife. As this character develops, we find that she is not in fact the nameless, unimportant character as we first perceive her as, but she is a complex an interesting character which much more to her than we first think of. The lack of identity could also be referring to how womens rights were treated less equally than men. The lack of name demotes Curley’s wife to an insignificant status. Steinbeck says in a letter about the role of Curley’s wife “She (Curley’s wife) was told over and over again that she must remain a virgin… She had only that one thing to sell and she knew it.” This further enforces that women were only used for sex. Steinbeck may have portrayed woman in this way to allows readers to recognise the inferior role of women during the Great Depression.

Before we even get to meet Curleys wife, she is presented as a no good “tart” out to seek attention and cause trouble through the dialogue of Candy the ranch house sweeper. When George and Lennie arrive at the ranch, Candy explains to them that she is a troublemaker in soledad: “Ever’one knowed you’d mess up. You wasn’t no good”. He uses the expressions such as “she got the

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