Of Mice and Men

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Curley Character Analysis

The son of the boss of the ranch, Curley is careful to make it clear that he is of a higher class than the other ranch hands by wearing fancy boots. He is also mean-spirited, violent, and insecure. Though the only married man on the ranch, he's extremely jealous and suspicious of his wife, and he tends to overcompensate for his lack of height by picking fights with larger men. Curley cares most about looking strong.
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Curley Character Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the character Curley appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Curley, the boss's son, enters, looking for his father. Curley, who wears fancy boots, quickly starts... (full context)
Women Theme Icon
Candy adds that Curley has only gotten worse since his recent marriage to a pretty "tart" who flirts with... (full context)
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Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
When Candy leaves, George tells Lennie to stay away from Curley. Fighting with Curley, he warns, will get them fired. Lennie promises. George again tells Lennie... (full context)
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Just then, Curley's wife enters. She is very pretty and wears a lot of makeup. While asking where... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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Slim tells her that Curley is back at the main house. When she's gone, Lennie calls her "purty." George warns... (full context)
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Curley enters again, looking for his wife. When he leaves, George says he might end up... (full context)
Part 3
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
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...stable manager enters with news for Slim. Slim leaves with Crooks, and the men discuss Curley's wife. They agree with George that women don't belong on ranches, and that she'll end... (full context)
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Lennie and Carlson enter the bunkhouse. Curley enters soon after, again looking for his wife. He suspects she's with Slim in the... (full context)
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The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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Slim, Curley, Carlson, and Whit enter. Curley apologizes to Slim for suspecting him, and all the men... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Curley wants to fire George and Lennie, but Slim tells him if he does no one... (full context)
Part 4
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Curley's wife walks in and starts mocking the men in the room as the "weak ones"... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
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Despite the men's demands that she leave, Curley's wife starts talking about how sad she is. She claims she could have been a... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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...her to leave. If she fires them, he says, they'll just buy their own farm. Curley's wife laughs at him. Crooks also demands she leave, but quiets when she curses him... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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...When George discovers Lennie was talking about the farm, he gets angry. But Crooks says Curley's wife was right, and that he's no longer interested in going to their farm. (full context)
Part 5
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Curley's wife enters. Lennie tells her he's not allowed to talk to her, but she says... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
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Candy enters and finds Curley's wife's body. He runs and gets George, and the two of them realize that Curley... (full context)
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The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Fearing Curley will think he had something to do with the murder, George tells Candy to pretend... (full context)
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Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Slim, Whit, Carlson, Curley, Crooks, and George enter the barn. Curley demands that Lennie be killed. Carlson says his... (full context)
Part 6
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...distraught George away, repeating over and over that George had to do it. Carlson and Curley can't figure out what's "eatin'" George and Slim. (full context)