Curleys Wife Essay

845 words - 4 pages

Curley’s Wife
On the ranch there is a well known woman merely referred to as ‘Curley’s Wife’. Her lack of identity could imply she is not woman but rather a possession of her husband. She is shown to represent the lost of identity after being associated with something or someone. That is why she has no name; her identity is being someone's wife. As this character develops we find that she is not in fact the unimportant, nameless character we first perceive her as, but rather she is a relatively complex and interesting character, with much more to her than we first gather.
Alternatively, it could suggest she is insignificant and not as important of a character as George, Lennie or any of ...view middle of the document...

Through Candy’s words, we develop an initial perception of Curley’s Wife as flirtatious ‘tramp’ and even immoral. The word ‘tart’ suggests she presents herself in a flamboyant manner, which portrays her desperation to be noticed. Steinbeck enables the reader to see Curley’s Wife through Candy’s eyes on their first encounter with her.
This perception is further emphasized by Curley’s Wife’s first appearance in the novel. Her physical appearance of ‘full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made- up’, as well as ‘fingernail painted red’ and elaborate hair, further build on our preconceptions of her. Red, the colour of her attire and the style of her hair and makeup suggest some sexuality. Also, she use suggestive and provocative body language, ‘she put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward’, and her flimsy excuse to be with the men in their quarters contribute to the rancher’s view of her as a ’tramp’. She both talks and acts playfully and flirtatiously in front of the other ranch workers. In my opinion she behaves in this manner because her sexuality is her only weapon to gain attention. Red is also a colour symbolising an impure woman suggesting she is immoral. Through her physical appearance and her own actions, Candy’s description of Curley’s Wife seems accurate after her...

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