How does Steinbeck use language to present the powerlessness of Curley's wife?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the powerlessness of Curley's wife is reflected when she speaks to Lennie about her own state of being in the world.  Right before she dies, she speaks of how she wished for some other form of life than the one she is living.  She speaks of her desire to be in "pitchers" and she articulates a condition whereby she wishes to be someone else, and to live a life of something else.  She also speaks of how she wanted something more than what she had.  Her articulation of this makes her a sad figure, one who is weak and powerless to control her own being.  It is through this scene where we understand that her image of being a vamp or someone who uses sexuality as a weapon is a front.  She is lonely, and broken over how her dreams have not been materialized and how her condition of her life is so very different from what lies in front of her right now.  It is a condition whereby she is alone and desperate for something more than what she lives.  For this, there is pain and there is a powerlessness inherent within her character.

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