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What is Curley's wife's reaction to the dream of the farm with the rabbits ? How does...

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livelove | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 18, 2009 at 1:29 AM via web

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What is Curley's wife's reaction to the dream of the farm with the rabbits ? How does the promise of the farm embolden Candy an Crooks?

Why does Crooks abandon the dream of the farm?

Chapter 4 - thanks

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

Posted May 18, 2009 at 5:01 AM (Answer #1)

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1. After hearing the men's farm dream, Curley's Wife tells them:

"Baloney, . . . I seen too many you guys. If you had two bits in the worl', why you'd be in gettin' two shots of corn with it and suckin' the bottom of the glass. I know you guys" (Steinbeck 79).

Curley's Wife is not only disillusioned with her own dream (to become a movie star or have recognition), but she also discourages others because she has not seen dreams come true. All of the men with whom she has had contact would rather spend their money on whiskey and women than save it.

2.  Candy knows the danger of angering Curley's Wife or risking Curley's wrath, but he is so sure of the farm dream in Chapter 4 that he tells Curley's Wife,

"I had enough, . . . You ain't wanted here. We told you you ain't" (Steinbeck 79).

At this point, he doesn't really care what she does, because he believes that he is moving on to a better place where he will be his own boss and not have to take orders from others.

Crooks, as a black man, has to be extra careful around white women; but even he feels empowered by the idea of escaping the ranch. As Curley's wife continues to needle the men about their worthlessness, Crooks stands up and orders:

"I had enough, . . . You got no rights comin' in a colored man's room. You got no rights messing around in here at all. Now you jus' get out, an' get out quick" (Steinbeck 80).

3.  Curley's Wife threatens to accuse Crooks of rape if he doesn't "keep [his] place."  She knows that in her setting and time period that she would need no proof.  Her threat reminds Crooks of all of his other unattainable dreams and his father's warning about playing with white children.  As he returns to his harsh reality, he recognizes that even as an adult, it's still not worth it or practical to "play with the white kids."

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