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Of mice and men Essay

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What does this section reveal about Curley’s wife? In Steinbeck’s description of Curley’s wife, he talks a lot about how well dressed she is and how she behaves so flirtatious. This means that she is the complete opposite to George. If she can afford ostrich feathers and all the luxuries of her clothing then she must have a lot of money or just spends it all on this. Steinbeck uses phrases such as “she bridled a little” to describe her actions. This is another comparison to animals that he uses to animalise people and in more than one case, women.

By the way that Curley’s wife speaks and behaves we can tell she isn’t really the cleverest of all people. This means she wouldn’t work and instead get her money from inheritance of Curley himself. The colour red portrays passion and danger which foreshadows her later role in the book. Steinbeck suggests to the reader that Curley’s wife is “jailbait”. Curley’s wife obviously likes to take care in her appearance because in Steinbeck’s description of her, he says she is “heavily made up. Her fingernails were red. Her hair hung in little rolled clusters” this suggests to the reader that she is trying to get attention or is acting as a “tart”.

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She has no reason to dress up this extravagantly however as she is already married and there are no other women on the ranch, meaning she therefore she has no one to impress. What does the novella reveal about 1930’s America? The paragraph “She had full, rouged lips and wide-spaced eyes […] which were little bouquets of red ostrich feathers” describes what she wears. Her items of clothing seem very expensive especially during the 1930’s when the people of America were experiencing the Great Depression and had very little money.

This means that whatever money she has, she spends it on clothes. This links contextually to the rise of Hollywood as people (women) were caring more about their appearances. Also, the fact that Curley’s wife is never named is a key point as this indicates to us how women were not important and were more of an item that one would have as later on George reveals his dream in which he “could live so easy and maybe have a girl” which tells us in first person what men thought of women; as objects to own which was a rising ‘issue’ in the 1930’s America.

The fact that Slim addresses her as “Good-lookin’” really proves this point. We notice how the G is capitalised as if he is implying that that she does not need a proper name and is referred to by beauty and not personality. This relates to the Rise of Hollywood as during the 1930’s the role of women changed significantly. They became images and no longer people.

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