Explore Steinbeck’s Portrayal of Curley’s Wife in of Mice and Men

1501 Words May 29th, 2015 7 Pages
Explore Steinbeck’s portrayal of Curley’s wife in Of Mice and Men

Of mice and men was set in America during the 1930’s when the whole country was going through the great depression so no one had much money and it became hard for men to find jobs and keep them. This is why it is strange at the start of the novel when we are introduced to George and Lennie traveling together to find work. It was hard for men to find jobs alone and even harder for two men to find jobs together. During the great depression, women had no freedom and they couldn’t get jobs like the men tried to because the men had more power over them and controlled them. The men weren’t used to women being around them and the women were trying to look for jobs like the men
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Candy told George that he has seen Curley’s wife give Slim and Carlson the eye which means that she was flirting with them and trying to get them to look back at her and she was drawing attention to herself. ‘I seen her give Slim the eye. An’ I seen her give Carlson the eye.’ Steinbeck has given the readers the impression that she wants all the men working on the ranch to like her and to say positive comments about her but when they are talking about her, they don’t talk about her in a positive way.

The way that Curley talks to her and about her makes the reader feel sympathetic for her as she is being objectified by her own husband and he is talking about her like she is a belonging to him and he doesn’t treat her with any respect and doesn’t care about her, he just thinks about himself. ‘Well, that gloves fulla Vaseline. ‘Curley is clearly objectifying his wife as a sexual object rather than treating her life she’s his wife and that she means something to him. ‘Curley says he’s keepin’ that hand soft for his wife.’ He treats her like she is just an object and he also talks about her like she is just a thing and doesn’t have any meaning to her, even though she is his wife. The way she is spoken about makes it sound like she has no feelings and she just belongs to Curley but doesn’t have any choice or say about what he decides upon.

At the end of chapter 2, we meet Curley’s wife when she is standing in the doorway of

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