How does John Steinbeck present the desires of Curley in Of Mice and Men?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Curley is portrayed as aggressive and pugilistic, though he is able to be, since his father owns the farm. He is constantly picking on the farmhands, and is very much preoccupied with attempting to control his attractive young wife, who often flirts with the workers on the farm. This clearly causes him a great deal of insecurity and even loneliness, as he spends much of his time scouring the farm for her. Indeed, Steinbeck portrays Curley, for all of his bluster as basically lacking in self-confidence: he wears high-heel boots to appear taller than he actually is. Curley is also clearly threatened by Lennie, as he is by many of the larger, stronger-looking hands. He attacks Lennie frequently, and Lennie crushes his hand in the fight that leads, eventually to his own death.

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