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Steinbeck presents Curley’s wife as dangerous as she has the power as she is married to the owner’s son and she is not afraid to exercise that power. But also she is a victim of loneliness as Curley is not that interested in her and she has to stay on the ranch doing nothing but wondering around looking for company. This makes Curley’s wife both guilty and innocent. Steinbeck uses candy to forewarn the reader about Curley’s wife in their first meeting, this is significant as it shows that Curley’s wife is interpreted as ‘jail bait’ as George says. The fact that George is pre-warned about this potential danger is ironic as despite the warning she is the problem that ends up getting Lennie killed. Steinbeck describes her physical appearance first, she is described as very sexually attractive and uses this to bait guys in. she uses her physical appearance as her main weapon, and in the end of the book Lennie gets in trouble because she tempts him to stroke her soft hair.
Steinbeck shows moments of her being overly cruel. She gets lonely and looks around for people to talk to but when she realises that the guys don’t want to talk to her she turns on crooks telling him that she can get him hanged because she would accuse him of rape. Steinbeck uses her talk with Lennie to make you sympathise with her. She talks about how she could have been in the pictures but she thought her mum threw away the letters about it and that how she is now stuck on a ranch were everyone ignores her and she is lonely. Steinbeck finishes by saying that she is a nice, good person but the only way she could get noticed was if she expressed her sexuality to the guys on the ranch, that’s the only way they would pay attention to her.