Curley's Wife Loneliness Analysis

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Loneliness is like hunger, a hunger that is caused by the lack of fulfillment in one’s life. Just like hunger can cause a desperation for food, loneliness creates a longing for attention. In Of Mice and Men, Curley’s wife finds herself in a sense of despair because of the lack of interest possessed in her, resulting from the resentment and possessive attitude towards women, derived from society. John Steinbeck examines the desperation and loneliness of Curley’s wife in order to criticize how women were treated unfairly based on the social norms in the early 1900s.
The desperation of Curley’s wife is illustrated through how she attempts to gain the men’s attention. This lack of attention causes Curley’s wife to put herself into situations the
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Curley’s wife’s desperate actions are misunderstood by the men, resulting in the loneliness she feels. Steinbeck reinforces this misunderstanding as Lennie reacts with resentment to Curley’s wife’s presence in the barn by responding, “‘George says I ain’t to have nothing to do with you--talk to you or nothing’” (86). Steinbeck reveals what might seem as a coquettish move, but in reality, Curley’s wife simply wants attention that she can acquire from the men. Steinbeck criticizes the social normalities of the 1930s by displaying how loneliness can lead to actions that may be misconstrued through Curley’s wife character. Steinbeck reveals that more than one character has a defined mistaken opinion about Curley’s wife, which influences how she is treated, resulting in more desperate actions from herself to fulfill her loneliness. The opinions of Curley’s wife from the other men are circulated to Lennie through George when George argues, “‘I don’t care what she says and what she does…You leave her be,’” influencing Lennie to resent Curley’s wife, making her try even harder to gain his attention (Steinbeck 32). Steinbeck suggests that loneliness causes action to take place, leading to possible misconception. Steinbeck’s allowance of this influence relates to the harsh and unfair opinions about women during the early 1900s, swaying women to take desperate actions …show more content…
During Lennie’s conversation with Curley’s wife, she expresses her thoughts to Lennie about how once “‘[she] met a guy, an’ he was in pitchers… says he was gonna put [her] in the movies… [she] never got that letter’” (Steinbeck 88). During the 1930s, women were thought of as possessions which caused most of their husbands to push them aside, forcing the women to somehow fill their loneliness. Steinbeck demonstrates how before Curley’s wife was married to Curley, she was used for her body, given highly impossible dreams for a woman in the 1930s. After Curley’s wife realizes that she would not be able to become rich and famous, she says to Lennie, “‘I married Curley [instead]... I don’t like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella’” (Steinbeck 89). Steinbeck displays that in the life of the ordinary woman during the 1930s, each one makes a sacrifice. Curley’s wife does not want to marry Curley, but does instead because of the benefits she will reap off of him. Steinbeck reinforces this dislike towards Curley as Curley’s wife is jealous of Lennie because he can “‘talk to people, but [she] can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad’” (Steinbeck 87). Steinbeck relates how Curley’s wife’s ethical choices are impacted by the actions of others in the way Curley disregards his wife, leaving her with the desire to find

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