Is Curly's wife a tart? What is she looking for? Is she just lonely or does she have other needs to fulfill?(When George & Lennie first meet Curly's wife, she is described as a ''tart''.)
This poor woman doesn't even have a name of her own. I believe that portrays something about the society's view of women at that time.
Being a woman, and the only one on the ranch, Curley's wife has every right to be lonely. Knowing that she's a woman and her worth from men has only been found in so many behaviors, she is only using what she believes men will respond to: her sexuality. I'm sure if she thought one of the guys would play cards or horseshoes with her and there would be no expectations in return for companionship, she wouldn't have to resort to her needless flirting which earned her the title of being a "tart."
I think calling her a tart is really just a male thing -- sort of a judgemental thing where the men see any woman who does not act "right" as a whore.
I think that she is really just looking for someone to pay attention to her and talk to her. She seems to be very lonely there on the ranch because Curley does not really seem to want to spend time with her and she has no female friends.
So I think she is just lonely and maybe trying to make Curley jealous, but I do not think she is actually looking for sex.