Heroes and Villains: Explore the ways sympathy for and/or dislike of a character is created in the text you have studied.

2261 words 10 pages
Heroes and Villains: Explore the ways sympathy for and/or dislike of a character is created in the text you have studied.

INTRODUCTION: In the novella ‘Of Mice and Men’, Steinbeck has used many different language features in order to create such a complex and sophisticated character whom I will be investigating - Curley’s wife. Curley’s wife is a pivotal character. She has been presented as a villain in the early stages of the book and her character seems to unravel as we read on. As a reader, we comprehend the factors which had influenced her actions and how living in a misogynistic society has affected the way she behaves - alternating the way we feel about this character and instead sympathy begins to develop, demolishing all the
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During this time, dark skinned people had no respect or status in society. They were equivalent to the invisible atmosphere. Meanwhile, women were also socially degraded and to be in the circumstance of living in a misogynistic society and being the only woman on a ranch full of men, it was not the ideal place for a woman. Hence, Crooks was the only person on the ranch that Curley’s wife claimed more power over, which is the reason to her offensive behaviour. We feel hatred towards Curley’s wife as she has deliberately singled Crooks out, threatened him, and is now humiliating him in front of people who already consider him to be of minor existence. By portraying this negative aspect towards Curley’s wife, Steinbeck wanted to show that the only person Curley’s wife seemed the slightest of superior towards, was to the most degraded person on the ranch - Crooks. The author also pursues the idea of power in this scene.

SYMPATHY: Conversely, Curley’s wife is also presented as lonely and isolated and Steinbeck depicts this through foreshadowing and animalistic imagery. When Curley’s wife is first presented in the novella, it says that her dress is designed with “little bouquets of red ostrich feathers”. The fact that Steinbeck has included the word ‘ostrich’ in his description of Curley’s wife’s first appearance, it proposes the idea that Curley’s wife is trapped as an ostrich is a bird that is


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