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The only woman depicted in John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men is not even named. In fact, she is simply only known as Curley's wife. This fact alone has caused critic to examine the text using a Feminist's lens.
That being said, Curley's wife is depicted as having a downfall during the novel. One simply justify that the sole place in the novel which depicts this downfall happens as Curley's wife is detailing her history.
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.” She looked closely at Lennie to see whether she was impressing him. “I never got that letter,” she said. “I always thought my ol’ lady stole it. Well, I wasn’t gonna stay no place where I couldn’t get nowhere or make something of myself, an’
where they stole your letters, I ast her if she stole it, too, an’ she says no. So I married Curley.
One, based upon this excerpt from the text, one could see her downfall came in life when she failed to make it in "the movies." If she would have made it into pictures, she would not have married Curley and spend the rest of her life on the ranch.
Another downfall could be justified by the way that she acts around the men on the ranch. Curley is always looking for her because he is fearful that she may be fooling around with another man on the ranch. This is seen multiple times throughout the novel when Curley is looking for his wife.
In the end, Curley's wife would have only been given a name if she would have made it into movies. Now, broken and unhappy with her life, she only has the continuous downfall to live with.
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