Curley’s wife essay
Curley’s wife is a character of wide complex and diversity. Her role slowly unwinds and develops throughout the course of the novel, constantly changing the reader’s opinion of her due to her ambiguous characteristics.
We see through the novel that in 1930’s America women were generally treated with contempt through the course of the novel and as a general theme. Steinbeck depicts females as ‘trouble makers’ who bring ruin on men; Curley’s wife who walks the ranch as a temptress, seems to be a prime example of this destructive tendency. Women were looked upon as inferior; and incapable of the skills men were, so a woman’s role was mainly housework and nothing with manual requirement.
From the first short encounter we share with Curley’s wife we see just one, prominent side to her. From this first meeting, a lot can be foreshadowed. Steinbeck focuses our first introduction with her on her appearance; emphasizing her sexual appeal and desirability towards men. ‘She had full rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up,’ which suggests that the author wanted us to presume the worst of her before she’d even spoken and we set ourselves up for her to be a character we feel a lot of resentment for. The fact that her ‘finger nails were red,’ along with ‘red mules’ and ‘red ostrich feathers’ shows us how Steinbeck’s use of colour goes well alongside her sexual appeal. The colour red is used in two ways. One is a strong representation of love or a form of attraction, the other is the inner appeal of sexual preference and seduction. The intention of making the reader perceive her early on as a ‘tart’ foreshadows that something later is going to happen and there could be trouble.
Curley's wife's loneliness has altered her behaviour towards others tremendously, making her insecure and excessively flirtatious. The isolation and the intense loneliness have altered into her almost another person. The men on the ranch are wary of her of her...