Of Mice and Men Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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In Of Mice and Men, what uneasy feeling does George have about Curley's wife?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When George first sees Curley's wife, she is standing in the door of the bunkhouse. She is heavily made up, wears red fingernail polish, and strikes a sexy pose in her red mules. After she is gone, George says:

Jesus, what a tramp.

Lennie stares at her with unabashed appreciation and thinks she is pretty. He states this twice. This worries George, who knows how easy it is for Lennie to get himself into trouble. Overall, George is concerned because a young, pretty, and provocative young wife of a hot-headed ranch owner's son spells danger to him. George especially wants Lennie to avoid her. He takes Lennie by the ear, shakes him, and says:

“Listen to me, you crazy bastard,” he said fiercely. “Don’t you even take a look at that bitch. I don’t care what she says and what she does. I seen ‘em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be.”

This scares Lennie, who is intuitive and suddenly has a premonition of disaster. He tells George that the ranch isn't a good place and that he wants to leave.

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When Curley's wife first enters the bunkhouse, Lennie is transfixed. He cannot help but staring at her and he later tells George that Curley's wife is "purty". The uneasy feeling comes after she leaves and George becomes enraged at Lennie. George is concerned because he thinks that Curley's wife will get them all into trouble. After Curley's wife leaves Lennie says "I don't like this place George." Her presence is given a negative connotation since Curley is constantly looking for her and accusing the men of the ranch for sleeping with her. Lennie picks up on this vibe.

In addtion, when in Crooks' room. Curley's wife insults Lennie, Candy, and Crooks; thus furthering this negative feeling

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