In Of Mice and Men, what is the moral philosophy of Curley's wife: egoism, utilitarianism, formalism, or divine command?I'm leaning towards egoism, because she has always been one for attention,...

In Of Mice and Men, what is the moral philosophy of Curley's wife: egoism, utilitarianism, formalism, or divine command?

I'm leaning towards egoism, because she has always been one for attention, but I cannot think of any examples off the top of my head that support this.

Asked on by lmcswig

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Curley's wife, from John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men, is certainly egotistical. When one is egotistical, they believe themselves to be so consumed with themselves that their view on the world is somewhat convoluted. In chapter five, Curley's wife tells Lennie about her past, a time where she "coulda been in the movies."

“’Nother time I met a guy, an’ he was in pitchers. Went out to the Riverside Dance Palace with him. He says he was gonna put me in the movies. Says I was a natural. Soon’s he got back to Hollywood he was gonna write to me about it.”

“Coulda been in the movies, an’ had nice clothes—all them nice clothes like they wear. An’ I coulda sat in them big hotels, an’ had pitchers took of me. When they had them previews I coulda went to them, an’ spoke in the radio, an’ it wouldn’ta cost me a cent because I was in the pitcher. An’ all them nice clothes like they wear. Because this guy says I was a natural.”

The two passages above speak to the fact that Curley's wife believed herself to be better than the life she was living. She tells Lennie that she settled for Curley, in order to escape her mother.

Curley's wife believes that she should have been an actress, should have had all of the nice clothes, should have been able to stay in "them big hotels," and had pictures taken of her. She believed that she was due this. Through this, Curley's wife believed that she was more than she was (simply Curley's wife). This speaks to her egotism.

Outside of that, the ranchers always say that Curley's wife is "putry" (pretty). She knows this (by the way that she dresses around the men. That said, the men say that she gives them all "the eye." This shows Curley's wife's egotism as well.

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