An Analysis Of Curley's Wife In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck

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There is one main thing, besides behavior, that defines a villain; the motive behind their actions. In the novel, Of Mice and Men, the author, John Steinbeck, portrays the character Curley’s wife as a villain. A victim is usually someone who is at the mercy of their own ignorance or deception by another person, whereas, a villain is usually in control of the situation and has malicious or evil intent. There are three main concepts that support Steinbeck’s portrayal of Curley’s wife as a villain; she is dishonorable, unprincipled, and is pernicious. These malicious traits ultimately lead to her fate, where she dies at the hands of another. A person is dishonorable when they lack integrity and is of low character. Curley’s wife demonstrates this when she flirts and tries to seduce other men, knowingly against her husband’s back. Candy explains this to George, “I seen her give …show more content…
She seems to take delight in other people’s suffering, "I'm glad you bust up Curley a little bit. He got it comin' to him. Sometimes I'd like to bust him myself" (Steinbeck 81). This way of speaking presents her as more of a perpetrator rather than a victim. This is not something you would expect to come from a innocent young lady. She preys upon the weak, especially Lennie with his mental handicap. “And she looked longest at Lennie, until he dropped his eyes in embarrassment”(Steinbeck 78)

Overall, there are three main reasons as to why Curley’s wife is a villain. She is dishonorable because of her going behind her husband’s back by flirting with other men and trying to get them in trouble. Second, she is unprincipled, she tries to manipulate other people for her own gain and does not care about other people’s rules. Lastly, she is pernicious and enjoys seeing the weaknesses in others such as their disabilities or them getting harmed. Works Cited Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. New York: Penguin, 1993.

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