The author never tells us the name of Curley’s wife in the novel, which could be for many reasons. E. g. she wasn’t important enough or even because she was a woman. But I think it was because she was regarded as one of Curley’s possessions, and because of this everyone approached her with haste. They were all afraid of Curley and didn’t want any bother from him so they left her alone. They didn’t speak to her and ignored her most of the time which could after a while make a person very lonely and feel unwanted.
She didn’t like this so she tried to do something about it. She put on attractive clothes, and was heavily made up with full rouged lips and widely spaced eyes. Fingernails painted red and hair in little clusters like sausages. Obviously she wanted to attract some attention from the workers on the ranch, she just wanted somebody to notice her. But as in doing this she is labelled ‘a tart’ and ‘jailbait’. George doesn’t see past the outer cover when she comes back and sees a woman trying to get someone arrested or killed, so he strictly warns Lenny to keep away from her.
Another reason for Curley’s wife’s loneliness could have been that she was the only woman on the ranch so she has no other female to gossip to, and all the men are ignoring her so she has absolutely nobody on the ranch to chat with except Curley. Curley isn’t a good husband as he regards her mainly as a possession and not his wife, and therefore doesn’t treat her all that well. He is one of the main reasons that she feels so unhappy. He forces his wife to stay at home alone every day as he forbids her to leave the house in fear that she might go and stray off with one of the ranch workers.
He himself is not all that loyal either as he visits brothels with the other men at the end of the month even though he is married. She admits to us when chatting with Lenny that she doesn’t love Curley. She only married him because of her mother. She had met a film producer that had said he was going to put her in the movies, and when the letter didn’t come from him she thought her mother had stolen it. So she moved of and married Curley maybe as a way to get revenge on her mother. Whereas it is more likely that the man wasn’t a film producer and probably wanted just to get her to sleep with him.
When talking with Lenny she also tells him all the things she wanted in her life. She wanted to wear nice clothes, stay in big hotels, have pictures taken of her and to be an actress. She even hinted that she was going to leave Curley someday by saying ‘maybe I will someday’ when talking about an acting career. Curley’s wife seems awfully lonely and gets great pleasure out of talking with Lenny in the barn. She even lets him stroke her hair causing a great ruckus and eventually leading to her violent death. But it was instantaneous and when Candy looked at her body he saw that her face was sweet and young.
She hadn’t a care in the world. All the ache for attention and discontent were gone from her face and she was finally at peace. I personally don’t think she is the cause of all the trouble because she was only seeking a bit of company. She hardly talked to anyone on the ranch for ages and when she finally gets the chance, you can’t blame her for wanting to take it. It maybe is a bit her fault as she let Lenny stroke her hair, but she didn’t know what he was going to do when he wouldn’t let go and started to panic. She did initially get Lenny killed but I don’t think she did it intentionally as she speaks no desire to get herself killed.
It is a bit of everybody’s fault, if the men had spoken to her she may not have wanted to go into the barn with Lenny and therefore not have been killed. Lenny and George’s dream may have came true if Curley’s wife had not been killed so in a way this major event changed all of their lives forever. 30/04/2007 Simon Gurney Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE John Steinbeck section.