How Is Curley Presented by Steinbeck in of Mice and Men

946 words 4 pages
How is Curley presented by Steinbeck in Of Mice and Men?

Curley is one of ‘Of Mice and Men’s’ major characters. Although he does not appear to hold a central role, he is very important in other respects. The first of these is the way in which he treats George and Lennie, and the ranch workers in general on the ranch. Curley is the boss’ son. Therefore he acts like he is the boss himself. He orders the others around, and, although it is true that he does hold some power on the ranch, he does not hold any respect from the workers. He is nasty towards them, treating as though they are them below him, and often trying to pick fights.

Curley is disliked by pretty much everyone on the ranch, and with good reason. George immediately
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Well, there may some positive aspects to Curley, or perhaps those which are not entirely bad. Firstly, he does appear to show some care for his wife. He is constantly looking for her, and appears to try and protect her. Although she is more of a possession to him than a person, he is clearly proud of her, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. Also, Curley is a good worker. He is one of the best on the ranch, having grown up there, and this shows in his care for his work.

Unlike most of the other characters, Curley doesn’t develop much over the course of the book, but he stands out as a character with whom Steinbeck does not sympathise. Whilst everyone else is struggling, Curley’s busy picking fights and trying to throw his weight around on his dad’s ranch. He seems to be outside of the economic struggle and even the personal struggle of the Depression. Curley’s the kind of person that is needed in contrast to the mild peacefulness of the other characters. Also, someone is needed to be the source of trouble among the men of the ranch who mostly want to get along.

In conclusion, if Steinbeck wrote 'Of Mice and Men' as being a microcosm of American society, then Curley represents one clear type of person. This is all the men in the country at the time who are petty and embittered, who wish to appear better than all of the others. He acts as a sort of control variable, whose actions and reactions can almost always be predicted, because he


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