Is it a positive image when Curley's wife is described as having hair in little rolled clusters like sausages?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Describing Curley’s wife’s hair as rolled up like sausages is not a positive image, but reinforces her role as “meat” to the men.

Curley’s wife is objectified at every turn.  She is never even given a name.  None of them men bother to call her by her name, including Curley.  She is known only in her association with him.

To the men on the ranch, Curley’s wife represents trouble.  They think of her as a tease, because she always seems to be flirting.  Though she is a new wife, no one seems to try to get to know her. Even Curley is mostly possessive when he looks for her, not keeping her company.  She is described as a tart.

A girl was standing there looking in. She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. (Ch 2)

Curley’s wife is described as a “girl,” not a woman.  When her hair is described as sausages, it reinforces that all of the men on the ranch, including Curley, look at her as only a piece of meat.  She is a sexual object, and nothing more.