Please cite a quote directly from the novel describing how Curley thinks or feels.John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" Please indicate the page of the citation. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" the descriptions of the men are fairly terse as the author seems to seek to present the characters first as men, common men who may be representative of variations on lower class men of the 1930s.  It is no coincidence that several of these characters' names begin with the same letter, C.  Chapter Two of the novella juxtaposes several men in the bunkhouse.  The old swamper, Candy, shows George and Lennie their bunks, the owner of the ranch arrives, and then Curley, the son of "the boss," enters:

At that moment a young man came into the bunk house; a thin young man with a brown face, with brown eyes and a head of tightly curled hair.  He wore a work glove on his left hand, and, like the boss, he wore high-heeled boots.  'Seen my old man?' he asked.

Candy, then, tells him that the boss was just there, and Curley responds,

'I'll try to catch him....His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped.  He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie.  His arms gradually bent and the elbows and his hands closed into fists.  He stiffened and went into a slight crouch.  His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious.  Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously.  Curley stepped gingerly close to him.  'You the new guys the old man was waitin'for?'

When George tells him they just arrived and that he and Lennie travel together, Curley says, "Oh, so it's that way," implying that the relationship may not be the regular one of two ranch hands.  Then, when Lennie does not speak, Curley asks why.  So, Lennie repeats, "We just come in."

Curley stared levelly at him. 'Well, nex'time you answer when you're spoke to.'  He turned toward the door and walked out, and his elbows were still bent out a little.

After he leaves, the swamper informs the men that Curley is

pretty handy...He done quite a bit in the ring.  He's a lightweight, and he's handy.

Candy knows that George has noticed the fighter stance and the "pugnacious attitude" of Curley.

(These entries are found in the second section (Chapter 2, paragraph 74 and the following.  In the paperback edition of  Peguin Books, this is page 25.)

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