Of Mice And Men Curley's Wife Essay

756 Words 4 Pages
During the time period of the Great Depression, women were often misinterpreted. Take Curley's wife, for example. Is she a selfish seductress who brings fear into others’ lives, or is she an innocent, isolated woman just looking for someone to talk to? An endless debate over the nameless character in Of Mice and Men proves there is two sides to every story. However, the side of Curley’s wife shown in the novel is the cruel, manipulative side. Steinbeck introduces her as the only woman living on the ranch, yet the one that brings the most unease wherever she goes. Yet, Steinbeck later explains, in a letter to actress Claire Luce, that she was intended to be a lonely girl who deep down, is lovable and kind. Curley's wife’s countless demeaning …show more content…
Here, he reveals how he wanted Curley’s wife to truly be seen as, but this is the only place where her background is expressed. He does admit to the fact that she used her looks to her advantage around men. Steinbeck explained that “she only had one thing to sell and she knew it” (Steinbeck, “Letter to Miss Luce”). That “one thing” was her body, and she used her sexuality to seduce the men in the ranch. She knew the men would be tempted by her promiscuous behavior, yet she continued to conduct herself inappropriately around men. By Steinbeck admitting she only had one thing to sell, he is admitting that she is nothing more than a flirtatious woman seeking attention from …show more content…
She observed that the audience seemed to hate Curley's wife and laughed at her misfortune. The audience treated her this way because she came off as someone who just causes stress wherever she goes. Meester noticed that “a large portion of the audience seems to agree with George. They want her to leave so she doesn’t cause any trouble” (Meester, “I'm Not a Tart…”). It seems as if trouble follows her wherever she goes. The added stress that arose with the presence of Curley’s wife caused the men to fear their jobs. When Curley’s wife leaves the men, it is as if they can finally stop holding their breath and a weight is lifted off of their shoulders.
The self-centered actions of Curley's wife prove that she is not the pure woman Steinbeck expected her to be depicted as. Instead, she is illustrated as a cruel, problematic woman who tries to seduce men, even though she has a husband. All of these factors contribute to her overall appalling personality, which is displayed throughout Of Mice and Men. Although Steinbeck may have developed an intricate backstory on Curley’s wife, none of that was seen in the novel. Steinbeck did not succeed in portraying her as a lonely woman just looking for someone to talk

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