MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

538 views

Why is Curley's Wife significant as a character in Of Mice and Men?

Curley's Wife is both significant as an accurate historical portrayal of women in 1930's America, and also as a substantive catalyst to the tragic events in the novels plot.

Firstly, I will deal with the historical issue. Curley's Wife is the only female in the novel, and doesn't even have her own name - instead, she is merely the property of Curley, and this makes reference to the explicit gender inequality seen in the 1930s. Other characters like George even call her "jailbait" - and we see from this a graphic over-sexualisation of her character, added to by the overuse of the colour red when describing her, as often we connotate red with both danger and sex. 

Secondly, we see that Curley's Wife as a character is an important plot tool used by Steinbeck to add tragedy to the book. She begins as a similar character to Eve in the Garden of Eden -  a seductive, evil temptress who can do nothing but add harm to the lives of George and Lennie. She brings evil into mens' lives by tempting them in a way they cannot resist. Eventually, she brings about the end of the dream of Eden, the little farm where George and Lennie can live off the fat of the land. Her death at Lennie's hands means the end of George and Lennie's companionship and their dream. We see, therefore, that the entire plot rest on Curley's Wife and her character traits.

The two points above highlight an irony both in the text and in history - if women such as Curley's Wife play such an important role in both the plot development, and life in general - why, historically, were they subjected to second rate treatment? 

Cameron K. GCSE English Language tutor, GCSE English Literature tutor...

1 year ago

Answered by Cameron, who has applied to tutor GCSE English Literature with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

128 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£18 /hr

Emily A.

Degree: LLB (Law) (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History+ 1 more

English Literature
History
English

“Teaching your child One of the fundamental communication skills I practice is respect. If your child is struggling with a concept or topic, we will handle the matter together with perseverance and positivity, even if it’s a subject th...”

MyTutor guarantee

£22 /hr

Shani T.

Degree: History and English Literature (Masters) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History+ 4 more

English Literature
History
English and World Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“I am a first-year student currently studying English Literature, History and Politics at the University of Glasgow, working towards a Masters in History.English Literature and History are both huge passions of mine, both being subjec...”

£18 /hr

Frederica W.

Degree: english and history (Bachelors) - Leeds University

Subjects offered: English Literature, English Language+ 1 more

English Literature
English Language

“I'm Freddie and I am a joint honours student currently studying English and History at the university of Leeds. I have always loved studying English and am passionate about the subject in general! However, I am aware that for some Eng...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£18 /hr

Cameron K.

Degree: Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Bachelors) - Oxford, Balliol College University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Maths+ 2 more

English Literature
Maths
English Language
.TSA. Oxford.

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other GCSE English Literature questions

How do I write a good conclusion?

How does writing reflect the audiences and purposes for which it was intended ?

Writing a perfect essay question.

The language that the author/poet/playwright is using is really difficult. How can I understand it?

View GCSE English Literature tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok