I need help for finding three examples of how Curley's wife is discriminated against in the book Of Mice and Men. Please give page number to prove if possible.Thank you so much :)

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novella, Candy tells George about Curley's wife and refers to her as a "tart" because of her flirtatious personality. After Lennie sees Curley's wife for the first time, George tells him,

"Don't you even take a look at that bitch. I don't care what she says and what she does. I seen 'em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be." (Steinbeck, 16)

Clearly, the men on the farm have a negative perception of Curley's wife and discriminate against her by avoiding her at all costs. They do not sympathize with her situation and ridicule her behavior behind her back.

In chapter 4, Curley's wife enters Crooks's room and the men immediately stop talking. They discriminate against Curley's wife by neglecting her and asking her to leave. Curley's wife is upset that the men fear her presence and want her to leave. She tells them,

"Funny thing . . . If I catch any one man, and he's alone, I get along fine with him. But just let two of the guys get together an' you won't talk. Jus' nothing but mad." (38)

Curley's wife then reveals that she is forced to stay indoors, which is another form of discrimination. Curley's wife proceeds to tell the men,

"Well, I ain't giving you no trouble. Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever'  once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?" (38)

In chapter 5, Curley's wife befriends Lennie and begins talking to him about her difficult situation. After mentioning that she cannot join in the horseshoe tournament, she tells Lennie,

"I get lonely . . . You can talk to people, but I can't talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How'd you like not to talk to anybody?" (43)

Curley treats his wife like a possession and does not allow her to socialize with the other men on the farm.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Discrimination is when a person is prejudiced against based upon a specific group to which they belong.

Curley's wife, in John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, is most certainly discriminated against in the novel.

First, the fact that Steinbeck "refuses" to give Curley's wife a name is an example of discrimination. She is not a woman in her own right. Instead, she is considered property of Curley's--given that she is referred to as "Curley's wife."(The first time Curley's wife is spoken of appears on page 14 of the electronic text found on the web. It appears in chapter two.)

Second, since Curley's wife is the only woman seen in the text (the only others are the two women who run the flop houses), many of the men are wary of her. She sticks out like a "sore thumb" given she is completely different by the ranchers. They, therefore, treat her as if she is not wanted around (which she is not), constantly telling her that she does not belong in the bunk house.

Lastly, Curley's wife is forced to stay in the house all of the time. Curley is worried that she will get into trouble, given she is the only woman around, and he forces (or does his best to force her) into isolation. She states this openly in chapter four:

Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?"

Overall, Curley's wife is discriminated against throughout the novel (up until her death). Steinbeck does nothing to hide this fact.

user3894898 | Student

In page 54 curleys wife is basically not wanted as she tries to make conversation with george.

killer2010999 | Student

Thank you so much :)

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Of Mice and Men

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