Great Depression, a society where it is believed men are stronger and superior. Steinbeck uses Curlers wife to illustrate difficulties women faced during the time, where there is no respect for women they are powerless, for this reason Curlers wife does not have her own name which symbolism men oppression because It’s a men’s world, she represent all the women of the time. Steinbeck portrait Curler’s wife as a sexual object and troubled. This shows through her appearance that she is seeking attention ‘her face was heavily made up. Her pips were slightly parted’.
It is no surprise that many men in the ranch think that she’s ‘sailboat’ and the fact she is introduced through rumors by Candy to George and Leonie means their viewed about her is bad. These does not shows any positive attitude towards any woman in the novel. Curlers wife may be bad woman but she does suffer from real affliction. Despite all the revelations about her personality in the novel, her death is caused by her never ending need for attention even though Leonie has reveals to her that he likes to pet soft things and they ended up dead, she still offers up her hair, which is foreshadowing her fate.
Steinbeck makes Curlers wife character seem insecure, lone and isolated from the others on the ranch. As the only women on the ranch, she want someone to talk to. Her life is lonely her husband is not always around to talk to her, this suggest how she is really simply lonely and naive and is reveal when she interrupt Crooks, Candy and Leonie looking for her husband. ‘Any you boys seen Curler? ‘ page 109. Even though she tried in friendly manners, Well, I anti giving you no trouble. Think don’t like to talk to someone ever’ once in a while? Think like to stick in that house all time? Page 110. Also, Steinbeck described Crooks as lonely character. He lives by himself because he is the only black man on the ranch even though he was born in California, he is still always made to feel isolated because of his color. We can see that Crooks isolation is also his protection, especially by that awful seen where Curler’s wife threatens him. She attacks him verbally, using her superior social status as a white woman. Steinbeck described Curler’s wife as somebody with a dream of become a movie star eke others man in the ranch with their dreams of owning their own farm.
She confides in Leonie, telling him that she could have been a famous movie star, but the world conspired against her and that’s why she’s ended in barn. She believed her aunt is holding her back and over protecting her which led to her marrying Curler. She wanted to be an actress so much she did not want anything to get in her way. Likewise Crooks dream of becoming a Lawyer. Dreams are necessary, even if the characters know that they II never achieve them. Steinbeck seems dreams and foolishness just leading to more sorrow.