Is Curley  of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men lonely or isolated?please give the evidence from section 3

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Curley is isolated from the ranchhands since he is the son of the boss in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.  But, this isolation evolves into alienation as Curley, in his separateness from the others, becomes extremely aggressive, challenging the men of the bunkhouse when he enters it.  He is also insecure about his small stature and about his wife, who is no longer content to sit at home.  So, to disguise his feelings of inadequacy, he bursts into the bunkhouse, demanding if any of the workers have seen his wife, looking threateningly about the room.  When he confronts Slim, Curley is rebuffed; the well-respected Slim tells him to "lay offa me."

That Curley is alienated from the others is clearly evident when Carlson and even old Candy join the verbal attack initiated by Slim.  But, when Lennie smiles in enjoyment, Curley spots a potential victim on whom he can unleash his bitter feelings of alienation, and he begins to punch Lennie.  Then, as Lennie offers no resistance, the cowardly Curley continues to punch Lennie so that he can seem to have overpowered the big man, just as Candy had told George earlier that he would try to do given a chance.  With George's command, however, Lennie reduces Curley to a wimpering victim himself and reverses the situation.  Now, Curley has become even more alienated from the men and lonely since with this incident the men perceive him as cowardly to have attacked Lennie, as well as weak. When she learns of the incident, Curley's wife, too, ridicules him as a loser. And, with the ridicule of his wife, Curley has no one on his side, so he is desperately lonely.

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corandan | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

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i dont think he is because hes always trying to start a fight with people bigger than him

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