Curley’s wife – character analysis and role in book

‘Cant blame a person for lookin” Curley’s wife is portrayed as acting in a flirtatious manner, as shown by this quote, and due to her being the wife of Curley – the farm boss’s son – is treated with constant distrust and paranoia all of the male farm workers. To elaborate, George describes her as never seeing ‘no piece if jail bait worse that her. You leave her be.’ to Lenny, after being introduced to her for the first time. However, all of this distrust leads to her being ignored and isolated, the effect of this isolation is magnified by her being the only female character in the novel, enforcing Steinbeck’s theme of loneliness. She is in fact used to directly voice the voice of the author on this topic, after facing a bitter rebuke by the ‘outcasts’ of the farm workers – Crooks’, the crippled negro stable buck, Candy, the handless worker, and Lenny, the big ‘dumdum’ – ‘‘funny thing, if I catch any one man, and he’s alone, I get along fine with him. But just let two guys get together an’ you won’t talk. Jus nothing But mad. Your scared of each other, that’s what.’ This quote shows the mistrust between people at the time, and proves that society at the time lacked a key element, trust. Curley’s wife’s role as a character was to directly, as the voice of the author, to show the distrust and to show how little people understood of each other, the effect of which was amplified by her bold and different personality.

In addition to this, Curley’s wife was used to show how women were thought as objects by men, as there appears to new no actual feeling between Curley and his wife (….tbc)

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