Curley’s Wife – Of Mice and Men

One of the popular questions that is asked is based on Steinbeck’s novella, Of Mice and Men and it usually asks to discuss the characterization of Curley’s wife, whether it be an exam question or a CA, or Controlled Assessment.

Here is a question, or task title, followed by some notes as to how AQA would want you to answer it.

Title: Heroes and villains: Explore Steinbeck’s portrayal of Curley’s wife. (pages 53-54)

Then AQA say you should use these notes to create your answer. Have a go as practice in your own time. Send it to this blog in a message and I will see if it is good enough to be published.

1. from what she looks like and the ways she acts, what kind of a woman does she seem to be?
2. How do George and Lennie react to her?
3. Explain why you think the writer used the following words to describe her:
‘’heavily made up’. ‘a nasal brittle quality’ ‘she said playfully’
Read pages 122 – 129 in Chapter 5. In this scene Curley’s wife finds Lennie in the barn, talks to him and ends up being killed. Answer the following:
4. What do you find out about Curley’s wife that you did not know in previous sections of the novel? Support your answer with some quotations from the novel
5. Is there anything in these pages that shows the writer wants you to think differently about her? Support you answer with some quotations from the novel
6. Explain why some knowledge of life in 1930s America might help readers understand the significance of Curley’s wife’s dream.