Of Mice And Men Curley Quotes

What are two quotes from Curley in Of Mice and Men?

Two quotes from Curley in Of Mice and Men are "Any of you guys seen my wife?" and "You keep outa this les' you wanta step outside." The first quote is a question Curley often repeats, demonstrating his controlling and obsessive tendencies. The second quote displays Curley's aggressive nature, showing that he is prone to anger and violence.

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Not long after George and Lennie arrive at the ranch, George makes it clear to his friend once again that he should let him do all the talking. Lennie, who trusts George implicitly, goes along. However, this causes difficulty when they meet up with Curley. Curley doesn't understand why it's George who is doing all the talking while Lennie is all clammed-up:

By Christ, he's gotta talk when he's spoke to. What the hell are you gettin' into it for?

Right from their first meeting, it's clear that Curley doesn't understand Lennie or the precise nature of his relationship with George. What's more, he never will, which is no surprise given that Curley is such a narrow-minded individual.

One of Curley's constant refrains is

Any you guys seen my wife?

This quotation is particularly revealing of Curley's character. A jealous, possessive control-freak, he always needs to know exactly where his wife is, and what she's doing. A sexually attractive, alluring young woman, Curley's wife exacerbates her husband's many deep-seated insecurities. Curley won't publicly admit it, but he knows that his wife could do a whole lot better than him. And so the only way he can be sure that she hasn't just taken off and left him is if he knows exactly where she is at all times.

Curley's insecurities are also much in evidence when he asks Lennie

What the hell you laughin' at?

Lennie is just laughing to himself, but because Curley is so insecure, he automatically assumes that he is the butt of some kind of joke.

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Throughout the novel, Curley is continually looking for his flirtatious wife. He sticks his head in the bunkhouse and says,

"You seen a girl around here?" (Steinbeck, 18)

After Curley mistakenly assumes that Slim is having an affair with his wife, he challenges Carlson after he wonders why Curley allows her to hang around the bunkhouse with the other men. Curley's response reveals his antagonistic nature when he says,

"You keep outa this les' you wanta step outside." (30)

After Curley learns that Lennie killed his wife, he organizes a lynch mob to search for Lennie. When Carlson mentions that he thinks Lennie stole his gun, Curley says,

"The nigger's got a shotgun. You take it, Carlson. When you see 'um, don't give 'im no chance. Shoot for his guts. That'll double 'im over" (48).

Curley's insistence that the men shoot Lennie in the guts reveals his malevolent nature. Shooting a man in the stomach will not only kill the person but will also inflict a significant amount of pain. Curley wants to get revenge on Lennie for killing his wife and has not forgotten about how Lennie destroyed his hand. When Slim suggests that Curley stay at the farm with his wife, Curley responds by saying,

"I'm gonna shoot the guts outa that big bastard myself, even if I only got one hand. I'm gonna get 'im." (48)

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Curley, the ranch owner's son, is a bully. After Slim, Carlson, and Candy stand up to him when he tries to bully them, Curley notices Lennie in the bunkhouse, smiling. Lennie is smiling because he is thinking of the dream ranch that he and George want to buy, but Curley thinks he is laughing at him, and needing someone to lash out at, says:

Come on, ya big bastard. Get up on your feet. No big son-of-a-bitch is gonna laugh at me. I'll show ya who's yella.

Curley is actually the one who is yellow ("yella") or cowardly, but he wants to act like he isn't afraid of anyone and hasn't been intimidated by the ranch hands, so he targets the large but mentally handicapped Lennie. It's a way for him to save face. When Lennie tries to retreat and avoid a fight, Curley punches him in the nose, making it bleed. 

When Curley finds his wife dead, he realizes it was Lennie's doing and lashes out again at him:

I'm gonna get him. I'm going for my shotgun. I'll kill the big son-of-a-bitch myself. I'll shoot 'im in the guts. Come on, you guys.

Both these quotes show Curley as a hot-tempered man who asserts his masculinity through violence.

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Given that you did not specify what type of quotes were needed, the following will include short explanations of what is meant to be understood by Curley when he spoke (in Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men).

1. "Oh, so it's that way?" Here, Curley is making an assumption about the relationship between Lennie and George. Basically, he is trying to exert his power over the men by challenging the answer that George gave him about Lennie not talking.

2. "Well, nex' time you answer when your spoken to." Again, Curley is trying to show his power over both men by taking the role of their boss. Curley, a man who thrives on intimidation, is trying to insure that both Lennie and George know who is "in charge."

3. "Any of you guys seen my wife?" In this quote, Curley is admitting that he has no control over his wife and that he worries about her being true to him and their marriage. Curley is worried that his wife is with Slim (the ranch's number one worker).

4. "Well. I didn't mean nothing Slim. I just ast you." Here, readers are able to conclude that Curley is not the man's man he pretends to be in front of all of the other men. In this quote, Curley is admitting that he is afraid of Slim (indirectly).

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