Curley's wife is presented in a mostly unfavourable light and it is interesting that she is never named; it is as though she has no real identity. Like others in the novel Curley's wife has a dream and that too will never be realised. She thinks that she 'Coulda been in the movies, an had nice clothes' which we know is just a fantasy.
One of the ways in which she is portrayed very harshly is in her dealings with Crooks. She tells him that 'I could get you strung up on tree so easy' which highlights her bad character as she knows that Crooks has no power as a black man.
Curley's wife as often a lonely figure, stranded on a ranch with only her husband, whom she dislikes, for company. She dresses up to hang about on a farm and is seen by the men as trouble.