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Curley's wife acts flirtatiously with the ranch hands and wears too much makeup for such a young girl. She has a dream which was fairly common in the earlier days of the movies. She thinks she could make it as a movie star in Hollywood because she is cute and has a good figure. She doesn't realize how much competition exists in the movie business. She doesn't understand that she is too young to be considered for female starring roles. A man she met at the dance hall in Salinas filled her head with grandiose illusions. He obviously had an ulterior motive. The fact that she took his line so seriously is just one of the many indications of her extreme youth. She is probably only sixteen years old. She tells Lennie she wanted to go off with an "actor" in traveling show when she was fifteen but her mother wouldn't let her. Then she married Curley to get away from her mother, who was probably glad to get her safely married before she got pregnant out of wedlock.
"'Nother time I met a guy, an' he was in pitchers. Went out to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon's he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it."
This is on page 88 in my paperback edition of the novella. It is ironic that Curley's young wife should be confiding her dream to Lennie just a few minutes before he kills her. If she had lived, her dream still would never have happened because she was doomed to be exploited by heartless men. If she had actually moved to Hollywood, she would have been more likely to become a prostitute than an actress.
Curley' Wife is the lone female character in John Steinbeck's memorable drama "Of Mice and Men." Portrayed negatively for most of the story, Curley's Wife (we know not her real name) is a flirt who roams the ranch in red shoes and is referred to in various scenes as a "tart," "tramp," and even a "bitch." She is deserving of both scorn and sympathy, but she shows her human side during talks with Lennie. She dreams, she admits, of becoming a movie star:
"I'll go in the night an' thumb a ride to Hollywood... Gonna get in the movies and have nice clothes." (Act III, Scene 1)
But she will never reach this goal because she will become another victim of Lennie's unintentionally strong embrace (Act III, Scene 1). The death of Curley's Wife seals Lennie's fate and ends his own dream of raising rabbits with George.
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