The Loneliness Of Curley’s Wife In Of Mice And Men By John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men is a classic novel taking place during the 1930s. The main characters are two migrant farmers, George and Lennie. They end up working at a farm out in California where they attempt to make enough cash to buy their own land: a dream of theirs. On the farm, the two encounter many unique characters. Although with good intentions, Lennie’s recklessness often gets the pair in trouble. Many characters in this novel experienced loneliness, the feeling of sadness from lack of friends, loved ones, or company. However, one character, above the others, has been embodied by the awful feeling. The topic of this essay will be about that certain character and the loneliness she feels. In John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Curley’s Wife experiences the most loneliness in the sense that she has suffered emotional abuse from her husband, Curley, and she has furthermore experienced isolation and mistreatment from the other workers on the farm.
Curley’s Wife is the loneliest character in the novel because she suffers emotional abuse by her husband Curley. This is shown when Lennie and Curley’s Wife encounter each other in the barn and Lennie refuses to talk to her, she openly states that Curley does not let her talk to anyone but himself, and that she gets lonely. You can very clearly see this in the text evidence when it states “‘I get lonely,’ she said. ‘You can talk to people, but I can’t talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How’d you like not to talk to anybody?’”. This quote shows how Curley keeps his wife isolated from everyone else on the farm. This means she cannot talk to anyone but her husband, which is clearly an example of emotional abuse. Curley is keeping his wife emotionally trapped by depriving her of social interaction. In return, this causes her to feel a sense of loneliness, as described by herself in the evidence.
An additional reason that Curley’s Wife is the most lonely character in the novel is that she is constantly berated by the workers of the farm and never treated respectfully. When Curley’s Wife is first seen by George and Lennie, George talks very poorly about Curley’s Wife and calls her offensive names and warns Lennie not to talk to her at all. Also, in another part of the novel, a farm worker by the name of Whitey essentially says that Curley’s Wife is unloyal and looks for guys. In the book, the text reads “‘Listen to me, you crazy bastard,’ he said fiercely. ‘Don’t you even take a look at that bitch. I don’t care what she says and what she does. I seen ‘em poison before, but I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her. You leave her be.’” In another part of the novel, Whitey states, “Ever’ time the guys is around she shows up.” and “Seems like she can’t keep away from guys.” The pieces of evidence provided proves that many of the farm workers think poorly of Curley’s wife. They call her a bitch and say that she can’t keep away from guys. She has a poor relationship with most of the people on the farm and therefore cannot speak to many people or have a worthwhile companion. In addition to this, she is the only woman on the farm. The 1930s was a time when all women were treated poorly in comparison to white men.
As seen in this essay, in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Curley’s Wife experiences the most loneliness in the sense that she has suffered emotional abuse from her husband, Curley, and she has furthermore experienced isolation and mistreatment from the other workers on the farm. Curley’s Wife is the loneliest character for multiple reasons. Firstly, she suffers emotional abuse from her husband as seen in the evidence in paragraph 2. He doesn’t let her speak to anyone else but himself or else he gets mad, which is keeping her socially trapped and leaves her unable to establish any positive relationship with a worker on the farm. Secondly, she is berated by the members of the farm and called a bitch as well as saying she can’t keep away from guys. Considering the workers of the farm think poorly of her, this must make her lonely isn’t thought highly of or treated respectfully.
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