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In Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Curley's wife is a central character who is unaware and uncaring of the effect of her actions. She is very young, probably about 16, and attractive. She is also married to Curley, the son of the ranch owner, and has an inflated sense of importance; because of her connections, she feels she can do as she pleases and order the others around. Crooks is a black stable hand. He has back injuries from being kicked by a horse, is in pain, and is lonely. One evening Crooks is speaking with Lennie and Candy, and Curley's wife interrupts them. When she does not receive the kind of response she wants, she threatens to have Crooks lynched. This was a very real possibility in that time and place, and something she easily could have caused to happen. Despite the fact that Crooks had done nothing wrong, he knew that if she claimed he had done something to her, he would indeed have been lynched.
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