“Curley’s Married …….a Tart” Discuss

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"Curley's married"¦ a tart" was first said on page 50 by "the swamper" who we now know as Candy. We find this line in a discussion between Candy and George about Curley's wife. George and Lennie are Itinerary workers and have just arrived from Weed to start a new job on the ranch, they are settling themselves in at the bunk house before lunch, they have met the ranches swamper, candy and he is filling them in on the ways of the ranch, also in some gossip about the boss and his family. Candy explains to the two about Curley's gloved hand which is being kept soft for his wife and describes his new wife as "purty" maybe, but also that she has been "married two weeks and has already got the eye" We see George's reaction to this is a worried one because of Lennie's history. Lennie and George had to leave their last post in Weed because of Lennie, we find out the real story on page 43 where George is filling Slim in on their past " he seen this girl in a red dress.

Dumb bastard like he is, he wants to touch ever'thing he likes, just wants to feel it. So he reaches out to feel this red dress an' the girl lets out a squawk, and that gets Lennie all mixed up, and he holds on "˜cause that's the only thing he can think to do. Well, this girl squarks and squarks. I was jus' a little bit of, and I heard all the yellin', so I comes running, an' by that time Lennie's so scared all he can think of to do id jus' hold on. I socked him over the head with a fence picket to make him let go"¦"¦. He was so god-damn strong" from this you can understand why he doesn't trust Curley's wife he tries to warn Lennie off by saying fiercely "Listen to me you crazy bastard, don't you even take a look at that bitch. I don't care what she says and does. I seen no piece of jailbait worse than her. You leave her be." He goes on to sayin "you keep away from her, cause she's a rat trap is ever I saw one" It is difficult not to think of Curley's wife as a tart; the introduction we get of Curley's wife, it is not a good idea of a woman, so before we even meet her we dismiss her as a tart. Although this is just about proven on page 53 where we meet Curley's wife for the first time. It is quite a dramatic entrance "both men glanced up, for the rectangle of sunshine in the doorway was blocked off" she is described as having "full, rouged lips and wide spaced eyes, heavily made up. Her fingernails were red"¦ a cotton housedress and red mules"¦. little bouquets of red ostrich feathers" this description is not one of a farmer's wife. Also "she put her hand behind her back and leaned against the doorframe so that her body was thrown forward" she is throwing her body forward so that the men look at her. She gets the opportunity to do this as she wanders around the ranch pretending to look for her husband, who never seems to be around, even though she's only been married 2 weeks she seems not to have the loving feeling that you would expect.

We never really have anytime to bond with this character, she does not have any real things to connect with the reader, she is only ever referred to as "Curley's wife" so she appears to be a minor character when in fact she is not, she brings the down fall of Lennie and George: in the final chapter Curley's wife exposes all her insecurities, feelings and her whole life story to Lennie in a "passion of communication" when she found him alone in the barn, Lennie had just "accidentally" killed his puppy.

She is once again alone and looking for company. She finds him an easy listener she reveals all; her desire to leave home, improve herself, and when she met an actor who promised to take her to Hollywood, them parting with a promise to write, and Curley's wife thought that her mother had stolen the letter, when probably the fact is that it never came! We find that she has married Curley as a way out, to get away from her mother. This is when we really identify her with the other characters, she hold on to her dreams, just like Candy, Lennie and George.

Although after this heart felt moment we may feels sorry for Curley's wife we are reminded of her cruel streak, when the men at the ranch go off to town on a Saturday night, she is left behind with all the "freaks" Lennie, Crooks and Candy. She calls crooks a nigger; "You keep your place, then, Nigger. I could get you strung up on a tree so easy it ain't even funny" This shows her as being cruel, she attacks people who are more venerable than she. She starts to interact with Lennie, by letting him stroke her hair and then it's almost like history repeats itself when she starts to struggle and Lennie does not let go, and Lennie kills her.

On page 98 "Curley's wife lay with a half covering of yellow hay. And the meanness and planning's and the discontent and the ache for attention were all gone from her face. She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young. Now her rouged lips and her reddened lips made her alive and sleeping very lightly. The curls, the tiny little sausages, were spread on the hay behind her head, and her lips were parted" This description makes you think of the beauty of Curley's wife and feel sorry for her. But this is not the feelings of Candy, when the other men on the ranch go to look for Lennie, he does not show any remorse or sorrow for her, only anger. He blames her for destroying his dream "You god-damn tramp"¦.you done it di'nt you? I s'pose you're glad. Ever'body knowd you'd mess things up. You wasn't no good. You ain't no good now you lousy tart" this seems to be the feeling of most of the characters in the book, and probably most of the readers too. Curley's wife was a tart looking for attention on a ranch full of men, and this finally killed her.