On first reading it, Curley’s wife is presented as an antagonist, as a dream destroyer, the story its self is set during the “Great Depression”, where dreams were usually destroyed, The Great Depression was an extremely miserable time during the 1930’s, it made average people (such as the guys in the ranch and Curley’s wife) impossible to fulfill their dreams. Curley’s wife, was a lot of things, but mainly misunderstood. Similar to all the men on the ranch, she was unable to fulfill her dream, all her hopes for her dreams were shattered at a young age. There is more to Curley’s wife, she cannot make a good impact on anything, so she makes a bad one.
On first appearances of the character, when she talks to, George and Lennie in the barn, she gives off the impression that she is a “Troublemaker” and a bit “Tarty”, her body language is intentionally provocative this is shown when she displays her body in a confident way when leaning against a pole in the barn. ‘So her body was thrown forward.’ Knowing her gorgeous female figure, and by being the only woman on the farm, this expressive posture exposes her desire to be observed and looked-for by the men on the ranch. She speaks with an extremely confident and flirtatious manner to George and Lennie even though they have just arrived and she doesn’t know them. She pretends to be looking for her husband and when told that he is not there Steinbeck writes: ‘“If he ain’t, I guess I better look some place else" she said playfully.’ This suggests her boredom in marriage and that she just wants company and fun. She talks ‘playfully’ as a young teenager would and obviously cares more about throwing herself towards people and enjoying male company than she does spending time with her husband
There is definitely a lack of respect for Curley’s wife, John Steinbeck didn’t even mention her actual name, and even in her death Candy thought of her as a lousy tart, he commented by saying “you done it, didn’t you? I s’pose your...
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