Of Mice And Men Curley Quotes

2 Answers

literaturenerd's profile pic

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

Posted on

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).

teachersage's profile pic

teachersage | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

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.