Monday, January 24, 2011

Does Curley's wife get what she deserves?

In the novel Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck demonstrates through the characterization of Curley’s wife that judgment can only lead to unfortunate consequences. From the day she walked into the barn, everyone had their minds make up about her. On page 28, one of the workers said, “Well, I think Curley’s married…a tart.” The men do not think very highly of her, even though they do not understand where she is coming from. They are too quick to judge her, without really getting to know her personality. If they looked beyond her placement in society and bad reputation, they would have found that she was not a bad person. They treated her poorly in a place where she is already discouraged and caused her self-esteem to lessen even more. She confronts Lennie on page 86 where she sadly states, “Why can’t I talk to you? I never get to talk to anybody. I get awful lonely.” The other men avoid her, and she finds herself alone, unable to communicate with her own husband. She is given insight into the life of a typical ranch worker—lonely, mistreated, and trapped. If she was given a chance by anyone in the town, she might have been different and treated them more respectfully in return. She tries to express herself, but her voice goes without being heard, as shown on page 88 when she claims, “Seems like they ain’t none of them cares how I gotta live. I tell you I ain’t used to livin’ like this. I coulda made somethin’ of myself.” Curley’s wife, just like everyone else in their time, had a dream at one point, but it slowly faded away when she thought of how unlikely it was to come true. She, just like everyone else, bought into the unfortunate theory that dreams are unreachable and may as well be given up on. The men she was surrounded with did not understand her story, or how she came to them. If they had, maybe her death would not have occurred and be forced into a shattered future, which she did not deserve. The dreams of an innocent, trapped, young woman might have come true.


  1. Sophie, I agreed with everything you stated in this! I really liked how you said that the men already had their mind made up about her when she got there. This reinforces your statement that if they ranch men had given her a chance, they would have gotten to know her and seen her for who she really is. I love the way your paragraph flows and your wording really makes everything pop. Great job, Soph!

  2. Good job! I agree with what you are saying here, that Curley's wife was judged too quickly so that lead to a consequence. You backed up your points with a lot of evidence and good analysis. It helped me see this situation in a different way :)