How was Curley's character presented in the barn?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Of Mice and Men, Curley proves his hatred for Lennie in the barn scene. He is presented as a man with vengeance, not necessarily for his wife, but he is carrying a grudge that he has been holding against Lennie for crushing his hand.

When Candy calls the men into the barn to show them that Curley's wife is dead, Curley immediately suspects Lennie as his wife's murderer. He immediately forms a lynch mob to track Lennie down.

Curley at once decides that Lennie is responsible. Showing more concern for getting Lennie than for his dead wife, Curley and Carlson go for their guns. 

Curley never took the time to say farewell to his wife before leaving the barn. He is more concerned with finding Lennie. Curley does not show any sentiment to his wife who is lying lifeless in the hay. He is still harboring anger since Lennie humiliated him by crushing his hand:

...Curley, intent on revenge, more for his shattered hand than for his dead wife, wants Lennie to suffer. “I’m gonna shoot the guts outa that big bastard myself, even if I only got one hand. I’m gonna get ‘im.” 

Curley is a man filled with anger and revenge. He is not about justice at all. He just wants to make Lennie suffer for the humiliation he has had to endure.