I don’t sympathize Curley’s wife, as the way she talks is very arrogant and mean. The quotation “Think I don’t know where they all went?” shows that she doesn’t want to be looked down on. She is trying to make up for the fact that she doesn’t know where Curley and the others have gone to. She thinks it will be embarrassing when Lennie, Candy and Crooks these kind of “weak” people know something that she doesn’t. She likes to show off in front of people and what she enjoys is applause and adoration, or even worship from others. Being in the center is what matters the most for Curley’s wife. I can tell by the quotation “ An’ a guy tol’ me he could put me in pitchers…’” “An’ what am I doin’? Standin’ here talkin’ to a bunch of bindle stiffs – a nigger an’ a dum-dum and a lousy ol’ sheep.” clearly shows her distain toward Lennie by calling him a “dum-dum”, Crooks by calling him a “nigger” and Candy by calling him a “lousy ol’ sheep”, when they all have names.
She is very disrespectful and thinks they have lower status than her. The quotation “Baloney, I seen too many you guys, if you had two bits in the worl’, why you’d be in gettin’ two shots of corn with it and suckin’ the bottom of the glass. I know you guys.” shows she is quite mean and she doesn’t respect others’ dreams and goals. She treats the others as a joke, what she cares is herself . She didn’t believe Lennie when Lennie was telling her how he got bruises. She made fun of Lennie by saying “Ok, Machine. I’ll talk to you later. I like machines.”
They way she treats Crooks is also extremely disrespectful, the quotation “ ‘Listen nigger, you know what I can do to you if you open your trap?’” and “Well, you keep your place then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain’t even funny.” She treats them as her minions or even toys. When Curley’s wife doesn’t have words to argue back, she always shout — “ ‘Tell an’ be damned,’ she cried, ‘ Nobody listen to you an’ you know it.’” As Curley’s wife has such a bad personality, people around her don’t sympathize her. She wasn’t being welcomed at all when she entered Crook’s room. People all wanted her to leave. Candy said the quotation sourly “ Curley ain’t been here” when she was asking. He also said “ Then if you know, why you want to ask us where Curley’ is at?” and “So maybe you better jus’ scatter along now.”
Candy obviously dislikes her and he was not welcoming her, as he argued back. He also pointed out her bad personality staightly, “You gotta husban’. You got no call foolin’ aroun’ with other guys, causin’ trouble.” Candy argued back for Lennie, because Curley’s wife was picking on him. He said “You let this guy alone. Don’t you do no messing aroun’ with him. I’m gonna tell George what you says. George won’t have you messin’ with Lennie.” Candy also helped Crooks by saying “If you was to do that, we’d tell. We’d tell about you framin’ Crooks.”
Crooks has been fed up with her, so he said “I had enough. You ain’t wanted here. We told you you ain’t. An’ I tell ya, you got floozy idears about what us guys amounts to. You ain’t got sense enough in that chicken head to even see that we ain’t stiffs. S’ pose you get us canned. S’ pose you do. You think we’ll hit the highway an’ look for another lousy two-bit job like this. You don’t know that we got our own ranch to go to, an our own house.”
On the other hand, Curley’s wife can be sympathetic as well. She has no freedom and can’t go to places that she wants. She is owned by Curley. She really wants to talk to someone and has some friends, but Curley limited everything. The quotation “Well, I ain’t giving you no trouble. Think I don’t like to stick in that house alla time?” This shows how much she wants to stay in Crooks’ room, and be able to chat with people, for she is quite lonely. “Sure I gotta husban’. You all seen him. Swell guy, ain’t he?
Spends all his time sayin’ what he’s gonna do to guys he don’t like, and he don’t like nobody. Think I’m gonna stay in that two-by-four house and listen how Curley’s gonna lead with his left twice, and then bring in the ol’ right cross?” show how lonely she is. Curley not giving her much love, care, warmth, and all he cares is being strong and able to fight with guys he dislikes. Curley’s wife hates Curley deeply in her heart, she doesn’t love him, because he treats her like toy. This is why she said to Lennie “I’m glad you bust up Curley a little bit. He got it comin’ to him. Sometimes I’d like to burst him myself.”
Overall, I feel both sympathize and not sympathize for Curley’s wife. I sympathize for her tragedy marriage to a guy who never cares about her feelings and doesn’t give her any freedom. She’s mostly owned by Curley, and not being able to do anything without his permission. We can tell this by Steinbeck didn’t even give her a proper name. We call her “Curley’s wife”, which clearly shows how she’s owned by Curley rather than being independent. I don’t feel sympathize for her, because the way she treats other people, such as Lennie, Crooks and Candy. She needs to learn how to respect, support or encourage others, rather than making fun and disdain them. If she puts herself to the same level with other workers, her life will be much more happier and the way workers treat her will change, too.