How was the men's viewpoint on Curley's wife different from reality in Of Mice and Men?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The men called her a "loo-loo" and a "tart"; they referred to her as if she was such a prostitute that they could not bring themselves to spend any time with her. They liked to talk about how Curley's wife was always after Slim. The truth of the matter was that they feared Curley. Another truth was that she longed for friendship, not necessarily male affection as they might have interpreted.

We can clearly see this in her conversation with Lennie. She so desperately longs for relief from lonliness and a friend to talk to. This is demonstrated by her attention to Lennie's affinity for soft things. She begins talking with him about soft things knowing that soft things interest him. This is the first step to friendship, taking a selfless interest in someone else. Thus, in reality, all Curley's wife wanted was someone to pay a little attention to her. This probably reveals even more to us about Curley: he was a neglectful husband.