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Notes How Steinbeck develops the character of Curly’s wife Essay

Notes for controlled assessment: Examine how Steinbeck develops the character of Curly’s wife. INTRO. Develops through different themes and emotions through book. Introduced through males eyes negatively. Gives reader impression she is promiscuous and dangerous. ‘Tart, jailbait, tramp. First appearance in book describes her as flirtatious/temptress. As book progresses the views on the character change from initial perception. Tries to exert some power in the hierarchal structure on the ranch (Crooks). Above all is crying out for attention and company, loneliness seals fate.

Themes in order: 1. No name/negative image. 2. Attractiveness/attention. 3. Loneliness. 4. Tragedy/victim/women in 1930s. 1. Introduced to the reader through the eyes/opinions of the males. Quote. Not once mentioned to have a name. Defined by her relationship, not an individual. No real meaning, existence no real identity. Disrespectful. Echo’s how women were treated in 1930s hierarchy (explain). No opinions/rights on matters; could’ve led to feelings of loneliness and victim of discrimination. Quote. Is above Crooks & uses that power. Quote. Sausages. Quote.

Fashionable but described unattractive & negative. The way in which she talks. Quote. Portrayed as weak & delicate. Powerless. 2. Young. Probably doesn’t intentionally mean to come across as a tramp or tart. Bored, has nobody to talk to. Her sexuality, provocativeness & the way she portrays herself as a temptress leaves her considered dangerous. Attractiveness is her weapon, no use as no one likes her. Wears red. Quote. Red nails. Brazenness. Reminds reader of Weed & foreshadows things to come (death). In red when introduced and red when killed. Change of description at death.

Quote. Sweet, young and innocence. Uses it for attention. Gets the wrong kind of attention. All because of loneliness. 3. From the start Steinbeck uses irony. Soledad/Spanish/solitude. Loneliness, isolation & seclusion how she feels. Quote. Wants company, lonely, doesn’t receive love and affection she needs/a young girl would want. Doesn’t understand why nobody will speak with her. Quote. Only female on the ranch. Demonstrates inner feelings, reader sympathises. Quote. In the end finally confides in someone, Lennie, leads to death. 4. Loneliness leads to her tragic death.

Possible foreshadowing of death through loneliness- explain. Nobody will talk but then when Lennie does it results in her death Quote in a way putting her out of misery. Introduced as a girl quote no powerful presence from start, girl gives impression of vulnerability. Surrounded by all males/only female on ranch. Death that of tragedy as she tells of bright future promised quote felt betrayed by family to then settle with Curly. Women had no real career opportunities, heartbroken to end up a housewife like the rest, trying to live the ‘American Dream’ had hope and very nearly independence. CONC


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