In "Of Mice and Men," why does Curley wear a glove full of vaseline?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curley wears a "glove fulla Vaseline" because he's "keepin his han' soft for his wife" according to Candy the swamper. He tells George about it when they arrive at the ranch and he says it with disgust. Curley is a very little man in physical stature who is forever trying to prove himself and he recently married a young beautiful woman who has eyes for other men on the ranch. Curley is jealous and suspicious so he tries to keep his wife content sexually, hence the glove, but he fails to pay attention to her emotional needs which is why she is constantly seeking the attention of anyone on the ranch that will pay it to her.