Why is Curley's wife so flirtly with Slim,do they have something going on?

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curley's wife makes it clear to Lennie while they are talking in the barn that she believes she could be a movie star. This explains why she keeps trying out her charms on the men at the ranch. It also explains why she wears so much makeup and strikes provocative poses. She wants admiration. Slim is much older than the girl, who may be only sixteen. He is not sexually attracted to her, but he understands her and plays her game with her, pretending to flirt without really meaning it. He can do this because he is one man who is not afraid of Curley like some of the other workers. Curley would be afraid to fight Slim, and Curley couldn't get Slim fired because he is too valuable a worker. Slim is a skilled worker as well as a sort of foreman, while the others are all just unskilled bindlestiffs.

cybil eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curley's wife seeks attention. She specifically flirts with Slim because he is the man with the most power in the bunkhouse. He's the leader, the one the other men look up to, and he demonstrates a kind of quiet leadership. When Curley's hand is crushed by Lennie, Slim even orders the boss's son not to tell. Her husband, on the other hand, has a need to impress others all the time. Slim is tall and masculine while Curley is a smaller man who suffers from the need to bait larger men like Lennie to fight. Curley is loud and aggressive while Slim is neither. Curley's wife may wish she were married to someone like Slim, who is very nearly the opposite of Curley.

robin-lowe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the 1930s, women did not have a place in society. By not giving her a name represents her insignificance to her husband and others on the ranch. Even though she is flirty and Candy calls her a "tart," we learn from her dialogue in Chapters 4 and 5 that she is just lonely, which is a predominant theme in this novella. Moreover, she flirts with Slim because he is the only one who will acknowledge her presence, and that acknowledgment makes her feel important.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curley's wife has quite a reputation with the men. She is a relentless flirt that craves any attention, and seems to enjoy enraging her husband's jealousy.

There is no textual evidence of an affair with Slim, she seems to attach herself to every man she gets her hands on.

mcfox1948 | Student

 Curley's wife is starving for attention, and uses what she can to gain any attention. Slim is an empathic, sensitive, sensible, skilled man. Slim senses the girl's loneliness without giving into the temptation of sleeping with her; he can be kind to her without being flirtatious, and he does not fear Curley's wrath because he is good at his job. Slim symbolizes what George could have been, if he ever had the opportunity to establish himself on a ranch and proved his worth with his quick intellect and intuitive nature.

fayaz123 | Student

curleys wife thinks that she only makes friends with the men in the ranch by flirting and when candy describes her as a "tart" and " shes got the eye". this illustartes that she is flirty with the mens.