Curley's Wife

1539 Words 7 Pages
Upon first impression, Curley’s wife, Crooks , and even the innocent Lennie are viewed as rather mean or insensitive characters in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Whether it be Curley’s wife belittling various ranch hands, Crooks scaring Lennie into believing his best friend, George, has died, or Lennie killing countless animals and even another person, it is understandable to develop a conclusion that these figures in the novel are simply rude people. However, analyzing the text and motives of these characters allows the reader to see a much more sympathetic and clear approach to why these people behave in this manner. Curley’s wife, Crooks, and Lennie can be seen as sympathetic characters through understanding the effects of loneliness, …show more content…
Everyone except Candy, Crooks, and Lennie have left the farm to visit a cathouse together. Curley’s wife stops by to possibly engage in the group’s conversation, to which they strongly say no to due to their dislike of Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife attempts to justify her honest endeavor to just talk: ‘Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?’ (Steinbeck 77). Curley’s wife, in this instance, does not do anything to reasonably upset the group, although they make it clear that they do not want to cause trouble with her presence. In an outburst of hopelessness, Curley’s wife explains how no one is even willing to talk to her despite not doing anything wrong. Her anger is only fueled by the unfair treatment she receives, and the loneliness that results from it. Curley’s wife does not hate any of the group members, but instead furious at the constant disregard aimed towards her. A repetitive cycle forms that transforms her into appearing rude is fueled by her tiredness of being socially isolated. Curley’s wife conveys some of the causes of her consistent arrogance and malicious attitude in a chat with Lennie. Lennie is sitting alone in the barn as Curley’s wife walks in, trying to spark up some form of conversation. Predictably, Lennie declined the invitation, expressing how he is following …show more content…
Entering the private shack of the stable buck, Crooks, is Lennie, who only seeks company as George and most of the ranch hand’s to a cathouse. Unfamiliar with company anyway, Crooks quickly grows bored of hearing Lennie’s aspirations of tending rabbits at a personal farm, and begins to torment the vulnerable Lennie just for entertainment. Crooks persuades Lennie to believe that George will not be returning from the cathouse, triggering Lennie into a state of confusion and fear. Before things get serious, Crooks assures him that George in reality will be coming back. Still cautious of Crooks, asks why Lennie would do such a cruel thing, and Crooks harshly tells Lennie that some people do not even have companions to begin with: “Maybe you see now. You got George. You know he’s goin’ to come back. S’pose you didn’t have nobody. S’pose you couldn’t go into the bunkhouse and play rummy ‘cause you was black. How’d you like that?” (Steinbeck 72). Evidently, Crooks is frustrated with Lennie because he believes that he takes his friendship with George for granted. Being African-American in this time period, Crooks obviously does not have many opportunities to obtain any form of friendship, or even sense of belonging. Crook’s decision to bully a mentally disabled man is surely inexcusable, but there is room for sympathy when the knowledge is gained that Crooks is just

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