Which character in of Mice and Men has the most difficult time surviving. Explain why?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In of Mice and Men, the character that has the most difficult time surviving is Curley's wife. In the 1930s, women had few rights. On the ranch, Curley's wife was the only woman. She lived an isolated life. Also, Curley was insensitive to her needs. Therefore, Curley's wife played the flirt. She was in desperate need to have attention. Although she existed, she was not truly surviving. She had no friends. She only dreamed of having a life. She dwelt on the past. At one time, she was fascinated with becoming an actress. In the present time, she still dwells on the dream of when she could have become an actress.

Truly, Curley's wife lives a lonely existence. She flirts with the other men because she is so lonely and unfufilled. Because Curley's wife feels she has no one to talk to, she reaches out to even someone like Lennie. In fact, George had warned Lennie to stay away from her because he considered her dangerous. Dangerous people do whatever they have to do to survive.

Ultimately, Curley's wife did not stand a chance at survival. She was merely existing. There were no other women around. She did not have friends she could trust. She was totally alone. Women were not respected as equals to men. They could not aspire to become whatever they wanted to become. They were dependent on men for survival. Equality among the sexes did not exist. Even Lennie with his innocent, gentle, childlike qualities could not save Curley's wife in the end. Throughout the novel, she did not even have a name.  



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