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What does Candy think of Curley's wife?

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toomk005 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 22, 2012 at 1:48 AM via web

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What does Candy think of Curley's wife?

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 22, 2012 at 6:30 AM (Answer #1)

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Candy and Curley's wife are at odds in Of Mice and Men, and can even be described as enemies. Candy expresses his opinion of Curley's wife on two occassions in the book. 

First, when George and Lennie are being shown around the bunk house, Curley comes in and speaks to them then leaves. After he leaves Candy describes Curley's wife. 

Candy says that Curley's wife is "purty" and also says, "Well - she got the eye," meaning she is licentious (sexual and flirtatious). Candy goes on to say that he has seen Curley's wife give the eye to Slim then says that she is a "tart". 

Later when Crooks, Lennie, Candy and Curley's wife are all in the stable togethe in Crooks' room, Candy tells Curley's wife directly that he doesn't like her and thinks she has "no sense in her chicken head". 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 29, 2015 at 4:05 AM (Answer #4)

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Old Candy is not impressed by Curley's wife. He states that she is "purty," but finds her a woman of loose morals--"Well, she got the eye," he observes, and states that he has seen the young woman look at Carlson and Slim seductively. He says that he thinks Curley has "married a tart."  Later, at the end of the novella, he lashes out at her, calling her names, envisioning her as an Eve, a temptress who has "ruined everything." 

In Chapter One, Candy shows George and Lennie around, and he describes the people that they will encounter on the ranch. After the boss talks with George and Lennie, Curley, the son of the boss has come by; so it is not long before Candy tells the two men about Curley's wife. He also intimates that Curley's wife is a young and tender bride when he alludes to Curley's one gloved hand.

Then, in Chapter Five, after the discovery of the dead body of Curley's wife, Candy stands over her and lashes out,

"You...tramp.... You done it, di'n't you" I s'pose you're glad. Ever'body knowed you'd mess things up. You wasn't no good. You ain't no good now, you lousy tart."

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