Curley and His Wife - Part 2
Curly is arrogant, self-centered and jealous - Curley and His Wife introduction. His wife is a flirt and definitely lacks the attention (the right kind of attention) she should receive from her husband. She’s a trophy, and he treats her as such. They had a short engagement (they married the night they met), and Curly’s wife, from the little we really know about her married Curly for little more than to get away from her mother. Curly and his wife have a very unstable marriage, lacking in communication, love and respect.
Curly believes that his wife is a possession, and that manipulation, intimidation, and insensitivity provide him with power over a wife who is fact just a lonely, young woman who needs to be loved. Not to let the wife off the hook here; Curly’s wife is far from stupid. She likes the money and the nice house; she never tries to leave him. , but she also holds some power in their relationship. Curly’s wife possessed his mind, and as I’ve already stated he’s very jealous.
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Being the only woman on the ranch, Curly is even more worried about her behavior with the men who work there……… if he didn’t know where she was for even a minute, he was off looking for her. Example; “You seen a girl around here? ” he demanded angrily. ” (Page 39) She made him crazy and enjoyed it. So ultimately, neither one of them are very happy……….. it’s a pretty unhealthy relationship. Do you think that Curley and his Wife Make a Good Couple?
Over the course of the novel it becomes clear that the relationship between Curley and his wife is far from the typical picture perfect hearts and flowers romance that a “good” marriage should be. Through their insecurities and loneliness they are bonded, yet in their character and emotional state, they are completely separate. Steinbeck’s novel is set during the American depression, a time in which ranching became the crucial way of life for a large proportion of the population. At the time, the ranch owner – “the Boss”, held a huge mount of power that shaped the lives of the men who worked for him. He provided accommodation, paid wages and offered an alternative to the completely bleak and lonely existence that these mostly single men, without a family and without any other companion, would otherwise face. It could be said that he had the power of life or death over these men. Curley, being the Boss’ son, understood that he had an authority over the other men that allowed him to be the “mean little bastard” that he was. “He hates big guys”, Candy tells George after Curley tries to “take after Lennie”.
His reputation in the ring makes him overly confident and turns him into a bully that sees everyone as a potential opponent. He picks on guys bigger than him to fill some lonely pit of insecurity within himself that wants the world against which he has a grudge to know that he is a “big man” despite his appearance. All the anger and hate within Curley, clearly have an effect on the relationship he shares with his wife. When confiding in Lennie, in the final scene of act 5, she tells him “I don’t like Curley.
He aint a nice fella. ” For most of the novel, Curley’s wife is depicted as the “tramp” “tart” and “loo loo” that the men perceive her to be. We are not allowed a deeper insight into her personality, her thoughts or indeed her dreams until later in novel when she opens up fully to Lennie- the one character without any prejudice and too naive to honestly believe her to be the jail bait the other claimed she was. We see her as a complex character with dreams and ambitions- “I coulda been in the movies”- a far cry from the