Search My Blog

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Does Curley’s Wife Get What She Deserves?

     In the novel, Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck demonstrates though the characterization of Curley’s wife that sometimes a person may seem evil, but really they are only the victim of a miserable life they don’t deserve, and are just trying to get through it. Curley’s wife is portrayed as someone bad who is trying to tempt them into getting into trouble and getting kicked of the ranch, but that is from the viewpoint of the men on the ranch. Because of this, George tells Lennie to stay away from her: “George says I ain’t to have nothing to do with you – talk to you or nothing.” George thinks that if Lennie were to talk to Curley’s wife at all then something would happen that would get them in trouble, and maybe he’s right. But that isn’t because Curley’s wife is trying to get the men in trouble. It’s because of Curley’s overprotection of his wife and Lennie’s accidental urge to do something that turns out bad. The men just want to be able to stay on the farm and work to earn a living but they can’t do that if the boss’ son gets them fired because he suspects them of flirting with his wife. Curley’s wife doesn’t like living on the ranch, and she doesn’t like her husband, but she has no way out. When Lennie tells her he’s not supposed to talk to her, she replies, "Why can't I talk to you? I never get to talk to nobody. I get awful lonely." This makes one realize that she really doesn’t have anyone on the ranch to talk to. She’s just trying to make some friends and the only people on the ranch besides Curley and his family are the ranch-hands, but they don’t want anything to do with her. But that’s not because they don’t like her as a person, it’s because they’re afraid to get in trouble with her husband because of it, something out of her control. She acts desperate, but that’s because she is desperate. She needs someone to confide in, so she goes to Lennie. She tells him, “Well, I ain’t told this to nobody before. Maybe I ought’n to. I don’ like Curley. He ain’t a nice fella.” This shows that she doesn’t even have her husband, the person she is pretty much limited to, to talk to. This would make anyone lonely, to have a husband who, not only doesn’t let them have any other friends besides him, but they really aren’t even friends with him. That leaves Curley’s wife with no friends, which is a very sad and lonely place to be. She is about as lonely as the ranch-hands, which is probably why she seeks their friendship so often. They would understand how she feels, not having anyone. The only difference is that they travel from place to place, not staying anywhere for long, always on the move, while she is stuck there, and can’t get away. This causes one to compare, which is worse: being trapped, or having no place to go? At least the ranch-hands have something to do, a job, something to hope for. If they were to be lucky enough to save enough money, they could buy their own farm and be happy. But Curley’s wife isn’t there to make money to buy a farm. There is nothing she can do to move away and have a happier life. She is stuck. She did not deserve to die. She was nothing but the victim of an unfortunate and miserable life that was brought upon her.

-Maggie Holland


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I agree that she was a victim of an unfortunate and miserable life that was brought upon her. You made a very good point. We only get the views of the men on the ranch and the men didn't respect her or her husband so of course they are going to be mean to her. I enjoyed reading your paragraph. It was very well written.

  3. I also agree that she was a women in a mans world trying to get through it. S you said she was portrayed as a women who is trying to get all the men in trouble, but you did a great job pointing out that she was the victum of a unfortunate and miserable life. I really liked reading your paragraph and seeing your opinion. Great job Maggie!