Of Mice and Men Curley's Wife

Topics: Eye, Cosmetics, Color Pages: 1 (302 words) Published: September 6, 2013
Curley’s Wife is first presented to us through the dialogue of ranch-hand Candy, when he describes her to George. She is perceived by Candy to be the cause of all that goes wrong in Soledad: ‘Ever’one knowed you’d mess things up. You wasn’t no good’. He uses expressions such as ‘she got the eye’ and goes on to describe her as looking at other men, before eventually calling her a ‘tart’. Through Candy’s words, we develop an initial perception of Curley’s Wife as flirtatious ‘tramp’ and even immoral. The word ‘tart’ suggests she presents herself in a flamboyant manner, which portrays her desperation to be noticed. Steinbeck enables the reader to see Curley’s Wife through Candy’s eyes on their first encounter with her. This perception is further emphasized by Curley’s Wife’s first appearance in the novel. Her physical appearance of ‘full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made- up’, as well as ‘fingernail painted red’ and elaborate hair, further build on our preconceptions of her. Red, the colour of her attire and the style of her hair and makeup suggest some sexuality. Also, she use suggestive and provocative body language, ‘she put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward’, and her flimsy excuse to be with the men in their quarters contribute to the rancher’s view of her as a ’tramp’. She both talks and acts playfully and flirtatiously in front of the other ranch workers. In my opinion she behaves in this manner because her sexuality is her only weapon to gain attention. Red is also a colour symbolising an impure woman suggesting she is immoral. Through her physical appearance and her own actions, Candy’s description of Curley’s Wife seems accurate after her first appearance in the novel
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