Curley is one of ‘Of Mice and Men’s’ major characters. Although he does not appear to hold a main role, he is extremely crucial in other aspects. The first of these is the method which he treats George and Lennie, and the cattle ranch workers in basic on the ranch.
Curley is the boss’ boy. Therefore he acts like he is the boss himself. He purchases the others around, and, although it holds true that he does hold some power on the cattle ranch, he does not hold any regard from the workers.
He is nasty towards them, treating as though they are them listed below him, and typically attempting to choose battles. Curley is disliked by basically everybody on the ranch, and with good reason. George immediately dislikes his hostility, and shows the exact same mindset in return. He himself states “I hate that sort of a guy” as quickly as he has and cautions Lennie to “have nothing to do with him”. Even Curley’s own spouse dislikes him, sarcastically stating “swell man, ain’t he” when told to speak with him by Sweet. Additionally, Sweet, although not directly airing his dislike mentions the he is “helpful.
God damn handy.” The way in which Sweet states this tips towards his dislike for Sweet being on account of his aggressive nature and hostility, instead of just being due to his nastiness. His desire to eliminate with people all the time shows two things. First of all, it shows inability complex: Curley is short, and for that reason is constantly trying to be better than “huge men”. Secondly, it shows his aggression. Curley holds a fighting position when he first comes across George and Lennie: “his arms slowly bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists.
He stiffened and went into a minor crouch.” According to Candy, Curley is an amateur fighter and is always picking battles, specifically with men who are bigger than he is. Eventually, Curley is trying to prove his masculinity. Another way in which Curley can be viewed as trying to show himself is by weding a physically attractive woman. His other half is never given a name, but by calling her “Curley’s wife,” Steinbeck suggests she is his belongings. Curley refuses to let her talk to anyone on the cattle ranch, isolating her from everyone and setting the phase for difficulty.
This difficulty happens in Section 3, where he implicates Slim of being with his wife and is totally wrong. He is ganged up on by the cattle ranch employees, and badgers Lennie in order to vent his anger at being teased. This turns out to be a mistake. Lennie rapidly squashes his hand, and Curley has to be required to the health center. Luckily for George and Lennie, Slim pertains to there help, telling Curley “your hand got captured in a device”. He makes a huge program of keeping his hand soft to touch her, yet likewise goes to the local whorehouse on Saturday night.
While he might strut around the cattle ranch because of his position as the boss’ boy, he obviously can not satisfy his other half and is mean, or perhaps merely removed from her. Curley beats up any male who dares to speak with her, but ironically, he hardly ever talks with her himself, and they spend the majority of the book trying to find each other. When Curley’s spouse passes away, Curley, rather than revealing the reaction that would be expected of a male whose spouse has actually just been eliminated. He does not appear to grieve at all in any way, barely looking at the body, or relating to the her death into his instant future plans.
Instead, his very first thought is towards looking for vengeance and hunting down Lennie. It is maybe this minute in the book which epitomises the method which Curley is aggressive, nasty, and shows no concern for anybody else apart from himself. All of this appears to be unfavorable however. Surely Steinbeck didn’t present Curley in a bad light? Well, there may some positive elements to Curley, or maybe those which are not totally bad. First of all, he does appear to show some care for his other half. He is constantly looking for her, and appears to attempt and secure her.
Although she is more of a possession to him than an individual, he is plainly pleased with her, but perhaps for the wrong factors. Likewise, 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 the majority of the other characters, Curley doesn’t establish much throughout the book, but he stands apart as a character with whom Steinbeck does not sympathise. Whilst everyone else is having a hard time, Curley’s busy choosing fights and trying to throw his weight around on his father’s cattle ranch. He seems to be beyond the financial struggle and even the personal battle of the Depression.
Curley’s the sort of individual that is needed in contrast to the moderate serenity of the other characters. Also, someone is required to be the source of difficulty among the men of the cattle ranch who primarily wish to get along. In conclusion, if Steinbeck wrote ‘Of Mice and Men’ as being a microcosm of American society, then Curley represents one clear kind of individual. This is all the guys in the country at the time who are petty and embittered, who wish to appear better than all of the others. He serves as a sort of control variable, whose actions and reactions can almost always be predicted, since he is such a simple shallow person.