How is Curley's wife developed through description in Of Mice and Men?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curley's wife is a sad individual. She is so lonely until she portrays herself as a flirt, one who is seeking attention. She flirts with the men because she lives an isolated life. She has no female companions. There are only men around. The ranch hands are the only ones she can talk with:

Curley's wife (as the boss's son's flirtatious wife, she is not identified by any other name) wanders around the ranch searching for some human contact. She is stereotyped by the men as a "tart." Indeed, she plays the vamp, which enrages her jealous husband.

She is so desperate for attention until she reaches out to Lennie, a mentally unstable man. Reaching out to Lennie proves that Curley's wife has no friends. Why would she reach out to Lennie if she had a life of her own?

George calls her poison. He warns Lennie to stay away from her:

George tells Lennie to avoid her, calling her "poison" and "jailbait."

No doubt, Curley's wife spends most of her time alone. Curley is so busy running the ranch until she is left alone with time on her hands. She flirts to get attention. She has needs like any other woman would have. Obviously, Curley is not meeting her needs. She seeks approval from the only people around her. This just happens to be ranch hands--rugged type characters.

Curley's wife craves attention. She had dreamed of being a movie star, but that dream did not become a reality:

But she is pathetically lonely and once had dreams of being a movie star. Both she and Crooks crave company and "someone to talk to."

When Curley's wife finds Lennie all alone, she reaches out to him for attention. She does not realize that Lennie is not mentally able to make right decisions. When she desires for Lennie to let go of her hair, she begins crying out for help. Lennie is just trying to get her to keep quiet. He breaks her neck accidentally. George was so right about Curley's wife. She teased Lennie, asking him to feel of her soft hair. Then she desired to get away from him. Lennie was just trying to get her to be quiet.

romy1003 | Student

Steinbeck describes Curley's wife as a lonely character in the novel. she tends to flirt around with the other men to gain there attention because well that is the only way that the men can talk to her. but most of the men try to avoid her as they think that shes a tart, and a rag bag. Curley's wife always dresses in red as the sign of danger so which Steinbeck means to say that they will be danger in the story and it leads to her death.

Steinbeck is also uing curley's wife to explain to te reader of how the men used to treat the women in the 1930's which they had no respect. The men also say that curley's wife is like a ghost wish she just creeps up quietly and no one notices her.

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Of Mice and Men

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