Curley's Wife Character Analysis

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In the novel, Of Mice And Men, there was a woman who was only referred to as Curly’s wife. Her character and how she is treated portrays how women were viewed in the late 1930’s. Throughout the whole novel,she was never given a name she was always just referred to as “Curly’s wife” as if she was a possession and not a person. As the book progresses, so do the other characters, but not quite Curly’s Wife’s character; she was only known as that pretty trophy wife. Due to her gender, she was always desperately lost and alone on this male dominant ranch that she lived on. Curly’s Wife’s character was used to portray how women were viewed and their broken dreams that they were never able to pursue due to their gender.

Curly’s wife’s lack of identity shows the readers that she isn’t viewed as a woman, but more as a possession of Curly’s. As the book progresses, readers learn more about the other characters who are all men, yet Curly’s wife still remained nameless. It suggests to the readers the unimportance of her character and refers to how women were treated less equally due to their gender. Throughout the whole book she was always called these derogatory female slurs, such as when Candy states his opinion, “Well, I think Curley’s married…a tart”(Steinbeck 28). Right off the bat Candy tries to portray a negative image of Curly’s wife to the
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Towards the end of the novel Curly’s wife tells Lennie about this letter she never received which resembles her broken dreams. Curly’s wife realizes unlike the men she really does not have much going for herself on the ranch, she states to Lennie, “If I’d went, I wouldn’t be livin’ like this, you bet”(Steinbeck 88). She talks about how she could have made a name for herself,”Coulda been in the movies…”(Steinbeck 89). Sadly, her dream was never able to be fulfilled because of the society she lived

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