In Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of mice and men’ there is only one female character. She is describes in many different ways at different points in the novel.
In the 1920s women didn’t have any status and were expected to stay at home and take care of their husbands and their family home in the difficult time of the great depression.
Curley’s wife isn’t the typical 1930s woman and instead of taking care of the family home , she quietly runs around the ranch looking for the men, for attention.
In the novel she is described as; a predator, a ‘tart’, a ‘looloo’ but also described as, vulnerable, lonely and naive. Curley’s wife is just that, a possession of Curley and she is never named.
In this assessment i am going to discuss the different ways Steinbeck presents the wife, provide evidence to support my ideas and suggest what these effects may have on the reader.
One of the first ways Steinbeck first mentions Curley’s wife in the novel is in a negative manner- as a predator. The first mention of Curley’s wife is through Candy, when he says ‘i think Curley’s married... a tart’, because this is the first encounter the reader has of ‘the wife’, this makes us believe she is a bad character.
Candy then continues ton say that even though she’s pretty, she’s got ‘the eye’. Because Candy is an old member of the ranch he may receive respect for what he says so this makes George wary of the wife and starts to dislike her immediately.
The negative mention of the wife shapes a negative image for the reader. This also foreshadows the later events that she’s involved with.
‘Think i don’t like to talk to somebody ever in a while’
She says this to Crooks, Candy and Lennie, the three people she thinks are probably as lonely as her. She believes this because Crooks is a nigger who has got no class in the ranch because he’s black and lives by himself; candy is an old man who is very vulnerable and has no other family or friends; and Lennie only has George but because...