In Of Mice And Men, how is Curley portrayed? What do you think about him? Consider: -His relationship with his wife -His relationship with others -His behaviour at the end of the book Thanks.
- Relationship with his wife
The young girl with failed hopes of becoming a movie star that Curley meets when he is at the Riverside Dance Palace in Salinas later confides in Lennie and tells him that she married Curley not long after nearly leaving home with two other men. She simply wanted out of her lonely and desperate life, and hoped by marrying Curley and going with him that she could become an actress somewhere. Now on the ranch, she finds herself as alienated as before, except she has a man living with her who is interested in her only as a sexual possession that he can flaunt. He is infuriated when she comes around the bunkhouse because he does not want anyone to speak to her or be near her, yet he does not seem to spend much time with her either.
- Relationship with others
As the son of the boss, Curley likes to "throw his weight around," asserting his power over the ranch hands; however, in truth, he has a complex about his size and tries to compensate for it with his belligerent behavior. Oddly, he wears one glove with vaseline in it in order to keep that hand soft for his very young wife; one man ridicules him, saying Curley "has ants in his pants." With his short temper and male frustrations, he is ready to fight the first man who challenges him, as he prides himself upon having been a welterweight boxer. Of course, most are reluctant to do so, only because they risk being fired by Curley's father. Therefore, Curley is often alienated as much as the bindlestiffs are. Most of the men avoid Curley, or curtly respond to him as they can only incur problems with his jealousy over his wife, the only woman on the ranch, his short-man complex, his need to prove his male superiority, and his quick temper.
- Behavior at the end of the novella
Perceiving the huge, lumbering Lennie as a physical threat and having been humiliated by Lennie's effortless, mighty crushing of his hand, Curley becomes intensely excited about being able to avenge himself for the loss of his pride as well as the loss of his other possession, his wife. He immediately flares up:
Curley came suddenly to life. "I know who done it," he cried. "That big son-of-a-bitch done it. I know he done it....." He worked himself into a fury. "I'm gonna get him. I'm going for my shotgun...."
When George pleads with Curley not to shoot Lennie, Curley snaps back heartlessly to Lennie's friend,
"Don't shoot 'im?" Curley cried. "He got Carlson's Luger. 'Course we'll shoot 'im."
Truly, Curley is selfish, impetuous, and cruel.