How does Steinbeck present Curley’s Wife?
The book was written in the 1900’s which was an area where women and black people were marginalized by society due to their sex or skin colour. In the book, the first time we are introduced to Curley’s Wife is through another character: Candy. This suggests that she must be quite an important character as she is being rumoured about. He says “Wait’ll you see Curley’s Wife”, this quotation intrigues the reader and makes them wonder about Curley’s Wife. Then Candy goes on to say “she’s got the eye” which subtly suggests to the reader that even though she has just been married she is not happy with her relationship and doesn’t really like Curley otherwise she wouldn’t be giving anybody “the eye”. Also, Steinbeck’s use of ellipsis “yeah,purty...but” and “Well,I think Curley’s married a...tart” shows that Candy is quite reluctant to talk to George about Curley and his wife as they both have a lot of authority because they both like in the boss’ house. Candy waited for George to say something negative abot them before he properly started talking about them:”that’s a dirty thing to tell around”. Candy had to be reassured that George was on his side.
In Curley’s Wife’s first appearance in the book, Steinbeck portrays her negatively on many occasions. Firstly, in the quote “for the rectangle of sunshine was cut off” Steinbeck uses a foreshadowing technique to hint at the reader that there is something dangerous about this character. Curley’s Wife stands in fromt of the door which is the only way in and out of the room, which suggests that she is like an obstacle in George and Lennie’s way. Also, Steinbeck uses the word “cut” which is a violent verb and is associated with things like death and danger. The verb could have easily been replaced by a verb like blocked. Secondly, Steinbeck also repeats the colour red in her clothing: “rouge lips, red mules” and the colour is usually associated with positive things like love...
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