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In Chapter 4, how does Curley's wife feel about life on the ranch?  Explain why you do...

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stella01 | Student, College Freshman | eNoter

Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:52 AM via web

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In Chapter 4, how does Curley's wife feel about life on the ranch?  Explain why you do or do not feel sympathy for her.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM (Answer #1)

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It seems very clear from this chapter that Curley's wife totally hates living on the ranch.  She complains vigorously about life on the ranch when she is talking to Candy and Lennie.  She hates being in a tiny little house with only Curley for company.

I sort of feel sorry for her at that point.  Living out on a ranch with no women and with a husband like that can't be fun.  But then just a bit later, I really hate her.  She has troubles of her own, but what she does to Crooks toward the end of this chapter is just really nasty.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM (Answer #2)

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Curley's wife feels like she can take advantage of the guys that are left. Unfortunately, she thinks she needs to use her womanhood to do it. She's heavily made up and breathing hard. She studied her nails and let her eyes slyly move from man to man. She regards the men with amusement.

Her complaint is that she has no one to be in any real relationship with. Although she is married to Curley, they really aren't even friends. She tries to befriend the men, but they don't want to get in trouble with Curley. She has real problems with not being around any women.

I don't really feel sorry for her, that's what marriage is. Sometimes it's tough, but she made a decision and now she has to live with it.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM (Answer #3)

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Marrying the first guy who smiles at you at the Riverside Dance Palace wasn't an uncommon event in those days, where marriage wasn't just for love, but a way to get out of the house into perhaps some security, especially with the son of a ranch owner.  Married life, especially to a guy like Curley, isn't all she expected.

I do feel a bit sorry for her, because of the status of women at the time, as possessions to order around and to keep in the house.  The fact she doesn't have a name in the story says, I think, a lot.

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