Hello! Yes I am worried about the exam as well on Monday! Eek! Is it okay if you mark or just at least read my answer for Curley. I would be very grateful! Thank you very much! Also, tell me how you are feeling about the exam on Monday.
THE ANSWER TO 'How Is Curley Significant in OMAM?
Curley is significant in John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' for a number of reasons. Curley is the Boss' son on the farm and is a small, angry and aggressive character who has little to no authority over the ranch hands partly due to the lack of respect that he receives from everyone. He can be seen as disaffected by his isolation and loneliness on the farm by lacking the qualities of being a loving and caring husband. He uses his wife to show off on the ranch as an effort to gain respect from the ranch hands.
Firstly and most importantly, Curley is seen as the villain of the ranch. He is aggressive and 'he's alla time picking scraps with big guys'. He specifically targets 'big guys' because he wants to gain respect from the ranchers by showing them his fighting skills. This shows that he often feels insecure that no-one is friends with him and he tries hard to win their friendship by showing his power.His unpopularity can be seen by what everyone says about him. George states that he is a 'son-of-a-*****' and even his wife says that 'he aint a nice fella'. This means that no one respects him partly because of his aggressive and dismissive attitude. George says that Curley is an example of what happens when people 'get lonely' and don’t have 'nobody'. Steinbeck is therefore using Curley to show why George does not want to leave Lennie and travel alone. This exemplifies the importance of their friendship in this microcosmos and other friendships in the isolated and individualistic society in which it is set.
In addition, he is married to Curley's Wife and there is a great deal of significance in this relationship. He has been married to his young wife for two weeks and is clear that he is simply using her as a 'trophy wife' to show off to the other ranchers that he is in a relationship. They are not happy together and they are never seen together in the novella apart from when she is dead and even then he is more worried about taking revenge and looking powerful than his cold dead wife. He uses her to exert his sexual authority in the ranch and that he has a relationship when all of the other ranchers do not. This relationship represents many situations in America during this time. Curley's Wife is repressed by Curley and she is property of Curley (because of the lack of a name) because he is a male and dominates the relationship.Steinbeck deliberately does not give her a name to take away a sense of freedom, individuality, identity and authority from her life. She feels trapped in this relationship and thinks that Curley ' Aint a nice fella' which shows that she has no power in the marriage as she cannot do what she wants, which is talk to people on the ranch. This links with Steinbeck's theme of women and how Curley does not understand his wife's needs in their clearly unhappy marriage. Also, the lack of attention he gives his wife could be seen as a reason why George and Lennie's dream comes crashing down. His lack of affection he gives to his wife leads her to become lonely thus she craves the attention from other ranch workers to compliment her and talk to her. This means that Lennie becomes interested in her and she talks to Lennie where she ends up dead. This is very significant as it shows that a mixture of both seeking respect and a lack of attention to his wife causes the events at the end of the novella. So he can be partly to blame for the deaths in the novel.
Penultimately, Curley feels threatened by larger guys because he is small (even when he is wearing high heeled boots). He has no authority on the ranch and tries to show people his power physically by preying on the larger (but mentally weaker) ranch hands, such as Lennie. This is because he feels intimidated by larger guys and shows his insecurities about what people think about him. This hatred he has for Lennie causes tension throughout the book and gives the reader a foreboding message that there is going to be clashes and collisions later in the novella.
Curley is isolated on the ranch. His whole demeanor is based on it. Curley picks fights and uses his wife to gain respect from the ranch hands, but it doesn’t work. Not working on the farm and his provocative attitude has driven of any potential ally ships on the ranch, leaving him just as lonely and isolated as every other character in the novella because no one reconsises his authority or efforts to make friends. He is trapped on the ranch and destined to run it one day. His position has moulded his personality and has made his the brute that he is, because no one sees his as a normal racher because of his high status. His dream is to be respected and popular but this will never be because of his position. This shows that everyone is isolated on the ranch some way or another. He conveys many of Steinbeck's themes and shows what people can become if isolated and what they will go to.
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- Thread Starter
- 16-05-2015 17:18