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In the second section of John Steinbeck's novella, "Of Mice and Men," after Curley confronts Lennie, who squeezes Curley's hand so hard that he damages it, Curley's wife soon appears in the doorway of the bunkhouse. Her behavior and appearance certainly indicates what kind of woman she is.
She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. her hair hung in little rolled clusters, like sausages. She wore a cotton house dress and red mules, on the insteps of which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers. 'I'm lookin' for Curley,' she said. her voice had a nasal, brittle quality.
When George tells her that Curley has just left, she puts her hands behind her back and "leans against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward. 'You're the new fellas that just come, ain't ya?'"
When Lennie runs his eyes over her, although she does not seem to be looking,
she bridled a little. She looked at her fingernails. 'Sometimes Curley's in here,' she explained.
As Lennie watches her with fascination, George tells her that he will inform Curley that she is looking for him:
She smiled archly and twitched her body. 'Nobody can't blame a person for lookin,' she said.
All indications here are that Curley's wife is flirtatious, and perceptive, as well. When Lennie and Candy are in the barn with Crooks, Curley's wife enters, again heavily made up. as the men avoid her eyes, she remarks in this fourth section,
'Funny thing,...If I catch any one man, and he's alone, I get along fine with him. But just let two of the guys get together an' you won't talk. Just' nothing but mad...You're all scared of each other, that's what. Ever' one of you's scared the rest is going' to get something on you.....Well, I ain't giving you no trouble. Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in a while? Think I like to stick in that house alla time?'
In her loneliness, Curley's wife seeks attention:
'Think I'm gonna stay in that two-by-four house and listen how Curley's gonna lead with his left twict, and bring in the ol' right cross?....You bindle bumsthink you're so damn good. Whatta ya think I am, a kid? I tell ya I could of went with shows. Not jus' one, neither, An' a guy tol'me he could put me in pitchers....'
She tells Lennie,
'I'm glad you bust up Curley a little bit. He got it comin' to him. Sometimes I'd like to bust him myself.'
This toughness has been displayed to Crooks, also, as she retorts to his comment that she has no right to come into his room, ''You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?" She does, however, misjudge Lennie, and it is not until it is too late that she fully realizes the import of her comment, "You're nuts."
This is one:
"Seen the new kid yet?" he asked.
"What kid?" George asked.
"Why, Curley's new wife."
"Yeah, I seen her."
"Well, ain't she a looloo?"
"I ain't seen that much of her," said George.
Whit laid down his cards impressively. "Well, stick around an' keep your eyes open. You'll see plenty. She ain't concealin' nothing. I never seen nobody like her. She got the eye goin' all the time on everybody. I bet she even gives the stable buck the eye. I don't know what the hell she wants."
I can't think of any better way to answer a question with a quote from this book other than this quote... it says it all.
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