Of Mice and Men is not among those novellas that portray women respectively. Curley’s Wife is the character I am referring to in this novel. Of Mice and Men is a vibrant example of how the reader’s perception of a character can develop and change throughout the course of the novel, without the character altering. The first impression, obtained by the reader is that Curley’s Wife is flirtatious and acts exceedingly licentious. The reader receives this reaction after Candy uses expressions such as “tart” and “I seen her give Slim the eye” to describe her to George.
The start of the novel gives a strong indication the Curley’s Wife is a superfluous person. Nevertheless, as the novel reaches its climatic end, the reader develops a more compassionate felling towards Curley’s wife. Ultimately, the reader gets the feeling that Curley’s Wife is not as bad as first expressed, particularly when she opens up to Lennie and shares her secrets, including the fact that she “doesn’t like Curley. ” Steinbeck uses authoritative and enthralling imagery to precisely and efficiently illustrate the appearance of Curley’s wife.
“She had full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up” is a prime example of this, in (Section 2, Page 53). Steinbeck ingeniously uses light allegorically to show that she can be imposing when he writes, “The rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was cut off. ” Her physical appearance of, “full, rouged lips” help further build on the reader’s preconceptions about her. The choice of words here, give the reader a strapping impression that the character is flirtatious.
“Heavily made- up” gives the reader the impression that she takes satisfaction and time in perfecting her appearance. Steinbeck links Curley’s wife in with the American Dream, upon numerous occasions. A vivid example of this is “Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes” in (Section 5, Page 125). This tells the reader that Curley’s wife’s American Dream was to become an actress in Hollywood, after “He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural”, (Section 5, Page 124).
The fact that Curley’s wife is still on the ranch, informs the reader that her dream remained unfulfilled, which may be one of the reasons, everyone finds her to be unconvincing and aggravating, especially to other ranch members, considering she has missed out on an immense opportunity. Because this was the first time she unveiled her closest secrets to another person, it consequently made Curley’s wife’s character seem more susceptible, optimistic, and inquisitive than what we had assumed from the beginning of the novel. Consequently she appeared more ordinary.
The loneliness felt by Curley’s Wife is a key talking point in the novel. Curley’s wife is perhaps the loneliest person of all on the ranch. The fact that she is the only woman on the ranch, keeps her separated from the other men during a time where people saw differences between men and women. Curley, her own husband, ignores her, he does not regard his wife as a person needing love and companionship, but rather as an object which can be put aside, “I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely” is a line which is repeated time and time again, but in different ways.
It vibrantly shows how lonely she feels. Curley’s wife’s loneliness finally becomes so rigorous that she resorts to fantasizing herself as a famous actress just to feel wanted and more conventional with others. Finally, despite being provided with a high overall status she is not respected. This results in the reader feeling sympathetic and compassionate towards her. Steinbeck uses foreshadowing to generate influential suspense for the reader. George noticeably states, in the beginning of the novel, that Lennie is always getting into mishaps. “You do bad things and I got to get you out.
” Linking back to the opening scenes of the novel, the predicament in Weed, which forced both George and Lennie to escape, involved both a girl and Lennie. Taking into account that Curley’s Wife is the only woman on the ranch and connecting ends with ends, there is a dramatic and powerful sense of insecurity between these two people. Subsequently, there is an insinuation that Curley’s Wife was going to die by the hands of Lennie. This is for the reason that, Lennie (earlier on in the novel) killed both a mouse and a puppy, which could only be imply that a greater death shall happen.