Steinbeck portrays Curley's wife as sexual, innocent, and dissatisfied, which often causes her to jeer at the ranch hands.
Candy tells George even before he meets Curley's wife that she's a "tart." When we see her, she is always wearing make-up and carefully dressed to look attractive. When she accidentally comes across Lennie alone in the barn, we learn that
She wore her bright cotton dress and the mules with the red ostrich feathers. Her face was made up and the little sausage curls were all in place.
The men often try not to look at her, because they don't want their desire to show (she is the only woman on the ranch) and, therefore, get themselves into trouble with Curley.
Curley's wife dissatisfaction emerges when she says to George, Lennie, and Candy:
Think I don’t like to talk to somebody ever’ once in a while?
She says she doesn't like to sit the house all the time, and that Curley's bragging about who he is going to fight bores her. She tells Lennie that she can into the "pictures"...
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