Being the only woman on a ranch is a very lonely life. In John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, although many people on the ranch are lonely, the author uses Curley's wife to portray special loneliness. Curley's wife's values of wanting companionship, wanting to be approved by others, and wanting to be loved show that she suffers from terrible loneliness and she wants some one who will talk to her and care about her.
First, Curley's wife wants companionship. Curley's wife said, "Think I don't like to talk to somebody ever' once in awhile."(77) She is very lonely because she has no one to talk to. Curley's wife does not have the opportunity to talk to anyone including her husband. Because Curley's wife has no one to talk too, she is very lonely.
Second, Curley's wife wants to be loved by someone. Curley's wife said, "Sure I gotta husban.
You all seen him. Swell guy aint he."(78) When she said that, she was being sarcastic. She knows that Curley really does not love her. Because she knows that Curley does not love her, she wants to find someone who will love her. That is one of the reasons she keeps on flirting with other men.
Third, she wants to be approved by other people. For that reason, the author says that "she took Lennie's hand and put it on her head." Then Curley's wife said to Lennie, "Feel right around there an see how soft it is."(90) She did that to get approval from Lennie by showing him something soft that she had. Most of all, she wants to get Lennie's approval because she is lonely.
In conclusion, the book portrays loneliness, especially the loneliness of a woman on a ranch in California during the Depression. One of the main examples of loneliness is Curley's wife. In the end, her values of wanting to be loved, wanting to be approved by others, and wanting someone to talk lead to her death and the death of Lennie. This ending shows that the loneliness of one person can lead to tragedy for others.