Of Mice and Men - Curleys Wife Essay

Topics: John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men, Great Depression Pages: 4 (1527 words) Published: September 15, 2013
What does Curley’s wife contribute to the play as a whole? John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ is set in 1930’s North California during ‘The Great Depression’ when times were harsh with little or no income and predominantly when all americans were destined for failure. The story depicts the journey of two migrant workers George and Lennie who are forced to travel round looking for work due to the circumstances of rising unemployment levels and lack of income – all most all men became migrant workers and left women and children to fend for themselves. Poignantly society became a fractured and segregated one consisting of racism, sexism and a lack of emotion which ultimately started a monotonous cycle of belittlement and loneliness; women were often objectified by men and seen as entertainment and insignificant rather than equals but perhaps this treatment was down to lack of emotion and relationships within society. Thematically this segregation is displayed frequently within the novel through the character Curley’s wife to whom is described as a “looloo” and often disrespected by the migrant workers on the ranch due to her flirtatious behaviour. At first Curley’s wife appears to be a simple unimportant character however as the novel progress it comes to light that she represents not only the sexism at that time but the loneliness many faced and the ultimate fate that all are destined to failure. Curley’s wife’s first appearance in the novel is shown by Steinbeck’s use of dark and light imagery “ the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off” which arguably could be suggesting that she is nothing but trouble as the brightness is sucked out of the room or perhaps foreshadowing her demise towards the end. Steinbeck emphasises that “ a girl was standing there” demonstrating how Curley’s wife is just a young naïve girl trapped in a woman’s body which is further supported by her provocative description “her hair hung in little rolled clusters” – she...
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