How does Curley's wife portrayal reflect the roles of women in 1930's America?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curley’s wife is never given a name, and she seems to exist only to look for Curley.  In the thirties women did not have many opportunities of their own.  They had to find a successful man to take care of them.

She married him likely because he is an important person in the community, since he was a boxer and is the son of the rancher.  She does not really appear to love him, and she is lonely and bored.  She wants to have dreams of her own, to be a movie star or have her own life.  Instead, she marries Curley and has to live on the ranch because that’s where he is.