There are many ways in which Steinbeck displays Curley’s wife in a way that makes her an unforgettable and an important character. The first time she appears in the novel is when Lennie and George arrive at the ranch and she steps in. She is described as a good-looking lady who wears quite a bit of makeup wearing a dress; she wears clothes that you wouldn’t usually see a woman in the ranch dress like. The way she interacts with the men is different to how you would normal as she’s very provocative and flirtatious.
She does this by coming up to the ranchmen showing off her figure or by saying flirty sayings like, ‘nobody don’t blame a person for lookin’’ But the reason she tries to do this all is because she is lonely and sad. In a male orientated world, b only woman in the ranch, she has no friends to talk so the only way she can get some sort of attention is by flirting. This way she would at least be looked at from the other ranch men.
We never find out the name of Curley’s wife’s name so throughout the novel she is referred to as ‘Curley’s wife’. This clearly shows how she is a property of Curley as we never know her name and he is very possessive over her as he’s always looking for her and she’s under her command. The men also see her in that way because they always turn away or avoid her because as she’s his possession if he finds out that the men have done anything to her.
They would possibly be sacked; this leads onto the Great Depression, due to the Great Depression there were not many jobs available around America. So the men were desperate to get a job in order to get the main facilities like food and shelter. The ranch they were at meant that they couldn’t say a word wrong or else they’d be sacked as the boss has plenty of other men to choose from, this is why the ranchmen try to avoid her as they could potentially lose their job if they get themselves into a mess.
She is expected to do everything Curley tells her to do, for example he makes it clear that she should stay at home and she fears him. At one point of the story, she find out that Curley is going into the house and she rushes home before he find out that she was not there. She is scared that he would physically torture her. Curley has a glove full of Vaseline showing that he torments her and physically abuses her but using the Vaseline would be she would be left with bruises.