Of Mice and Men MS. STEELE - eng 2p1


Using Adobe Spark, create a character collage of your favourite character from Steinbeck's classic novel including graphics and text to share with the class.

First decide which principle character from the novel to explore in depth before sharing your insights with the class in a media creation using adobe spark.

Choices include:

Candy, Carlson, Crooks,

Curley, Curley's Wife,

George, Lennie, and Slim

(There is no point in choosing the ranch Boss or Whit, as they are flat characters lacking development. Likewise, Susy, Clara and others are only referred to casually and lack in depth exploration.)

Next, analyze the text for key quotations to support characterization and character development. pay close attention to foreshadowing, theme and symbolism. be prepared to include your opinions, ideas and questions about the character.

next, download a file of appropriate graphics images for your character collage media creation.

I've created a teacher template for you to use as a guideline only. You are encouraged to use your own creativity and web-savvy.

Curley's Wife

Curley's Wife

I chose to create a character collage of Curley's Wife.

Curley's wife is one of the loneliest, most misunderstood characters in Steinbeck's novel, of mice and men,

She dreams of becoming a Hollywood movie star after moving to Salinas as a kid.

The reader doesn't know much about her background, but it seems like she had a rough childhood. In chpt. 5, she refers to the woman who was raising her as her "ol' lady" who stole her mail.

"Coulda been in the movies, an' had [...] all them nice clothes like they wear. An' I coulda sat in them big hotels, an' had pitchers took of me" (Steinbeck 89).

She ends up marrying Curley right after meeting him at the Riverside Dance Palace, the same night she meets a Hollywood actor who tells her she's "a natural" (Steinbeck 88). She likely marries Curley to escape the clutches of her "ol' lady", and doesn't take time to get to know him. She feels trapped because Curley expects her to stay in the ranch house by herself all the time without talking to anyone else, and he's not much of a conversationalist.

"Sure I gotta husban'. You all seen him. Swell guy, ain't he? Spends all his time sayin' what he's gonna do to guys he don't like, and he don't like nobody. Think I'm gonna stay in that two-by-four house and listen how Curley's gonna lead with his left twict, and then bring in the ol' right cross" (Steinbeck 78)?

Curley's wife is miserable living under these conditions, but no one seems to pity her because she's young, pretty, and flirtatious. The ranch men are wary of Curley, known for his boxing skills in the ring. His father is their boss, so they view Curley's wife as nothing but trouble. When warning Lennie to stay away from her, George says, "I never seen no piece of jail bait worse than her" (Steinbeck 32).

As a reader, do you pity Curley's wife?

"Seems like they ain't none of them cares how I gotta live. I tell you I ain't used to livin' like this. I coulda made somethin' of myself. Maybe I will yet" (Steinbeck 88).

Curley's wife lives with her own version of the unattainable "American Dream".

In chpt. 2, while showing George and Lennie the ropes, Candy tells them that Curley got married a couple of weeks earlier, and refers to his new wife as a "tart". He also says that the glove Curley wears on his left hand is full of Vaseline to keep it soft for his wife. When she appears in the bunkhouse, Curley's wife is wearing heavy make-up, red-painted nails, red heels with ostrich feathers, her hair hangs in curls and she speaks in a nasal tone.

"Know what I think? Well, I think Curley's married... a tart" (Steinbeck 28).

George rebukes Lennie for even looking at Curley's wife, let alone talking to her.

"... when she was standin' in the doorway showin' her legs, you wasn't lookin' the other ways..." (Steinbeck 32).

The reader knows that Lennie likes to pet soft, pretty things, but doesn't know his own strength. In chpt. 2 when Lennie tells George he thinks Curley's wife is "purty" (Steinbeck 32), the reader suspects trouble.

Can anyone really blame Curley's wife for wanting to talk to anyone other than her bully of a husband?

"I get lonely. You can talk to people, but I can't talk to nobody but Curley. Else he gets mad. How'd you like not to talk to anybody" (Steinbeck 87)?

Curley's wife's ultimate fate is tragic but predictable. She is a lonely, alienated misfit, just like Lennie, but unaware of his past, she doesn't view him as a threat. However, the reader is aware of the danger she faces when she chooses to interact with Lennie alone in the barn, foreshadowed as early as the first chapter.

"Jus' wanted to feel that girl's dress - jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse - Well, how the hell did she know you jus' wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse" (Steinbeck 11).
In chpt. 2 over a game of solitaire in the bunkhouse, George tells Slim about what Lennie did to the girl in Weed.

it's sad that Curley's wife is so alienated and misunderstood, but the big question is whether or not she deserves her fate.

In chpt. 4 when the rest of the characters go into town to have fun, Curley's wife is one of the misfits left behind, and she struggles to find her place in the order of things.
Candy refers to Curley's Wife as a "bitch" (Steinbeck 82) for threatening Crooks with lynching if he were to interfere with her affairs on the ranch. She has more power than Crooks and uses it to make herself feel better. She hates her husband and her life.
What advice would you give to Curley's wife in this situation, and why?
Lennie's puppy's fate foreshadows that of Curley's wife.
"When I'm doin' my hair sometimes I jus' set an' stroke it 'cause it's so soft [...] Here - feel right here" (Steinbeck 90).
"Don't you muss it up" (Steinbeck 90).

"Lennie was in a panic [...] She screamed then, and Lennie's other hand closed over her mouth and nose" (Steinbeck 91).
"... he wants to touch ever'thing he likes. Just wants to feel it [...] and he holds on 'cause that's the only thing he can think to do. [...] And he's so God damn strong..." (Steinbeck 41).
"Curley's wife lay with a half-covering of yellow hay. And the meanness and the plannings and the discontent were all gone from her face" (Steinbeck 92-3).

does curley's wife deserve her fate? like candy, crooks and lennie, she is living in the wrong place at the wrong time. her american dream is dashed simultaneously with george, lennie and candy's. the reader must decide who's life is more tragic.

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